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The sunset from Joan of Arc chapel 11/19/2020.

If my experiences this semester have taught me anything, I have learned how a mounting burden is often invisible until it is finally taken away. I imagine this is how Atlas would have felt with the world having been removed from his shoulders. My case has been overturned and my record wiped clean.

As the tears roll down my face, I realize that I, in fact, was not bearing this weight alone. Every step, God was with me. The Blessed Mother was with me. My patron saint, Lucy, was with me.

Perhaps the more visible forms of solidarity were the students, faculty, staff, and community members who stood by me. I cannot possibly name everyone here but I’ll try:

My parents, who cried with me and supported me. My friends, who reminded me to eat, to try to sleep, and provided so much emotional support. Faculty and staff, many of whom reached out to me individually to convey solidarity and support. I am forever indebted to those who often called and texted me to check up on me. The community members, particularly alumni, who reached out and worked closely with me. Those even from other universities who took up this fight with me. I’m sure I’m unintentionally missing others.

I cannot even express my gratitude eloquently enough.

As I once learned, it is not proper to think we can ever “move on” from situations. Our lives do not exist in a vacuum, but end up being an amalgamation of everything that has happened to us.

Therefore, I will not move on. I will move forward.

I will choose to remember my Marquette. I will carry with me my friends, professors, and the experiences that have shaped me to be who I am now. I have triumphed and I am charged and gifted with the responsibility to approach every obstacle and problem with the grace and insight I have gained from my three and a half years here.

I will move forward with renewed hope and faith in my values and in who I am as a person. I will remain committed to these values and I gain reassurance in the core of my being, though I know this should never falter. It is best conveyed in Latin: alis volat propriis. She flies with her own wings.

In this life, I am called to be a steward and a woman for others. I cannot imagine living out this call any differently than I have the past few weeks and I continue to allow these principles guide my life.

As I walked on campus last night, the sunset cast a pink glow over the blue Milwaukee sky. Its beauty struck me and I, looking at the picture now, realize that the sun is setting on my time at Marquette.

It has been a privilege to attend my Marquette. My heart is made full from all of the incredible people I have met during my time here. I could not be prouder of everything I have accomplished.

As I finish my semester, I hope and strive to make my parents, professors, friends, family, and community as proud as I am able. I am excited to open a new chapter in my life. I am excited to move forward.

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I am a current senior at Marquette University majoring in Classical Languages and History.

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