A Graduating Senior's Reflection: Rebecca Leonard
Posted by Caitlin Joyce on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 3:52 PM PDT
Rebecca Leonard, '13
College of Arts and Sciences
My life at Seattle University began in the spring, when I accepted my admittance. At that moment, I began to envision my life in Seattle and what being a student at Seattle University would be like. Fast forward four years, and my time at Seattle University is coming to a close in the summer. The time I spent at Seattle University went by faster than I ever imagined it could have, and as I begin to prepare myself for the next stage in my life, I keep wondering what will happen between me and the University that has informed and helped change so much of who I am today.
To compare who I was before coming to Seattle University and who I am now wouldn’t be fair. Before coming to Seattle, I didn’t have many opportunities in high school to be engaged or to be a leader. Coming to Seattle University my first year, I was somewhat overwhelmed walking into the Street Fair fall quarter and seeing how many clubs existed. Excited, I signed up for as many as I possibly could (a freshman mistake, I now realize). Over the years, my commitment to some of these groups declined as others flourished, presenting me with my first opportunity to really discern what was important to me and why.
Now I am confronted with a new type of excitement and fear as I look into my future away from academia. In the end, I am ready to walk across the stage and accept my diploma, as well as my different role in the world. A part of what helps me to be so excited and ready for this transition is that I know I can always come back to Seattle University and still have a place within the community. While I may not be as involved post-graduation as I was during my undergrad years, I intend to be as involved as I can be with the University that has given me so many opportunities.
If I had to synthesize in one word what Seattle University embodies, it wouldn’t be easy, but I’d have to say: care. All around the campus, the care that faculty, staff, professors, students, and alumni have is evident. It’s not just care for those around them, but also the care they have for their job and the tasks in front of them. This care transforms into dedication and persistence, contributing to the aware and active campus that Seattle University can boast. I know that this care will enable me to go out into the world and do what I am passionate about most, while remembering where I have come from.
As anxious as I am to be gone from Seattle University, I am fortunate to have avoided moments of panic when looking for jobs or dread when thinking about walking across that stage. Seattle University upholds its mission of educating the whole person, evident in the way that SU grads have the foundation of knowledge for their area of study, as well as the assurance and ability to present that knowledge to the world. I am graduating with this confidence, a fact that not many new college graduates can claim. As sad as I am to be leaving my home for the past four years, I look forward to staying connected and to visiting Seattle University in the years to come, not to see friends, but to be with family.