To grow, let the past go.


by Steffi Lee

The thought of graduating is terrifying, liberating, humbling and frustrating all at the same time.

Seniors, we have less than a month to go. Less than a month before we walk across the graduation ceremony stage, shake President Jay Simmons’ hand and claim our freedom.

Freshmen, sophomores and juniors – continue pushing through the next few years no matter how difficult life gets. You, too, are almost at the finish line. College is a lot of fun, but I get that it sucks, too.

I know our thoughts are consuming us. What are we supposed to do from here? Where do we go after we leave our home on North C Street (even just for a summer)? Maybe I shouldn’t have skipped that one class and maybe I should’ve tried harder during my time here. Was the debt worth it?

Maybe we’re still torn over failed friendships, romantic relationships and rejection letters for leadership roles, internships or jobs. What if we had taken more chances?

Here’s the thing – the end of an academic year is the start of a new journey. It’s too late to worry about what happened in high school, the fears that trickled into our college years and what exactly happened during our time as a Simpson Storm.

And that’s okay. Let it go.

I get it can be frightening to move forward. It’s risky to take a leap of faith in yourself, someone else, a job or a location. Nobody wants to fail, feel lost or insecure. But we don’t grow if we’re clinging on the ‘what ifs’ and letting those thoughts affect us right here, right now. It might not always feel like it, but we can rebuild our lives from scratch whenever we want. It’s just up to us to make it happen.

Letting go of the past doesn’t seem easy. It’s all we’ve ever known, really. The brick lining on the buildings across campus, the leaves changing color every fall, how pristine our campus looks when a snowstorm hits. The nights where studying didn’t matter because we were with our friends who’re like family.

But we all have so much going for us. If we’re blinded by the negative moments from the past, we risk giving up the opportunity to grow, thrive and carve a path for ourselves.

I’m scared our fears will trap us instead of freeing us. They don’t have to, though.

Someone once told me we can only progress in life if we stay hungry.

And the way to make us free and not held back from our ambitions is to find what nourishes us.

So Simpson College, let’s try our hardest to not be scared. We have so much to offer and too much to lose