End of the School Year Reflection. Congrats Class of 2021 and 2020!

A blog post by MA in Higher Education Leadership Student Ambassador Juleane Johnson

It’s the start of June, the end of another school year, and looking back on my time as a SOLES Student Ambassador this last year, how to even begin? Where to start?

First of all, Class of 2021 and Class of 2020 (you got your ceremony!) You Did It! You’ve Done It! You Are Doing It! You Will Do It! This last year has tested ALL of us, but especially these last two classes of graduates. We have faced a global health pandemic, unimaginable loss of life, loss of work, civil uprising, a treacherous national election, ongoing hate crimes, and on and on. Yet, somehow many have held down jobs (if possible), familial commitments, relationships, school, and who knows what else for months on top of everything in the world swirling around us.

The level of change, the sheer amount of uncertainty have been indescribable and unprecedented. We have survived the unthinkable, the unimaginable. Looking back, how did we manage? What did we hold onto? Who kept us going and motivated? What kept us calm? What kept us stable? What kept us together, or at least some semblance of that?

I asked one of my close friends from the Higher Education Leadership Master’s program who’s part of the Class of 2021…”what’s next for you?”  “I’m in no rush,” was her response. She wants to take a moment, take a breath, and reflect on what brings her peace, happiness, and joy. She’s choosing to chase that in this next chapter, and I admire her and commend her for that wholeheartedly.

In this last year, there are many unforgettable moments…becoming an aunt and meeting my niece for the first time…completing and presenting the work of my action research…reconnecting with countless friends and associates. It comes down to quality time…the feeling of being supported and encouraged in challenge, triumph, and accomplishment brings about feelings that I want to cherish moving forward.

I will be a December’21 graduate, Class of 2022. When I look toward this next chapter post-graduation, I hope I come back to this conversation and take those next steps valuing peace, happiness, and joy.

Congratulations, Class of 2021 and Class of 2020!

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