A Senior’s Reflection and Letter to His Team.
Wow, my undergraduate career is over. I know it’s cliché to say, but where did the time go? I suppose four years really got away from me during all those classes I spent nodding off or looking at GIFs on my phone. And now, with just shy of a month to go, I would give anything to have another semester.
In the waning days of senior year I find myself ferociously clinging to anything: class, my work study job, weekends. It’s a futile effort, I know. Time isn’t likely to bend to the will of a frantic senior staring down his own graduation.
My impending release into the wild world of adulthood has forced me to do a lot of self-reflecting lately. It’s a nice escape from stressing over my thesis defense.
When I think of the financial hole I now find myself in, coming to Clark may have been one of my dumber decisions. And really, what do I have to show for it? Did I learn anything? Perhaps, but it’s not as easily quantifiable as a dollar amount.
On the other hand, I can’t go back in time and stop the starry-eyed high-school version of myself from coming here. So why waste energy worrying? I’ve had my fair share of good times here. I’ve partied away paychecks and tried to push the limits of my own inebriation all while trying to keep regrets to a minimum—the key word being tried.
One thing I’ll never regret: joining, Clark Ultimate.
I think back to my first practice. I was walking to our then-field behind State Liquors. We weren’t welcome at the Dolan yet because Clark Athletics thought we were a bunch of freaks who would deface their nice gated fields.
Halfway down Charlotte Street I found myself ankle deep in filth. Avoiding another city trash bag I thought to myself, “Where am I going?” I’d spent my whole life in a Vermont suburb, so the discarded nips and broken glass lining the sidewalk concerned me.
Then Neil pulled up. He was a sophomore at the time, but if you didn’t know him you might have mistaken him for a 30-year-old nomadic lumberjack. He rolled down his window and asked if I was going to practice. He saw the Frisbee in my hand and offered me a ride. I’d never met him before, but something about that huge smile and Subaru hatchback put me at ease. I was in.
And now, four years later, the University hasn’t disbarred us yet. An incredible feat for a team full of alcoholic degenerates—kidding, mostly. It’s funny to think that I’ve played and partied, perhaps a bit excessively at times, with folks that among other things have a hand in U.S. monetary policy, shape our food system, and even educate the nation’s youth.
On a more serious note, watching the team grow both on and off the field has been remarkable. We went from at each other’s throats my freshman year to dominating in major tournaments this year. Quite a feat for a small liberal arts school team.
Hell—we’re more than a team. After thousands of miles crammed in cars, countless Chipotle trips, and endless hockey periods, I consider them my extended family, figuratively and literally.
Just ask the son and grandsons that I adopted this year.
We host the alumni game this weekend—my last game. It’s both thrilling and profoundly sad at the same time. We seniors have put in years of work for this team and now we have to say goodbye—it’s tough. Realistically, we’ll likely never all be together in the same context and that weird truth has yet to set in. I am glad that we at least had these four years.
Well, I opened with a cliché. It’s only fitting I close with one.
My liberal arts education may not amount to much, but the friends and memories are priceless.
So, thanks Clark Ultimate.
Stay chilly, beat WPI, and abide. Chad out.
Previously Published in The Scarlet 4/29/16 edition
Photo Cred in order- Freshmen Kat, Prof H, Jess C, and Garno (The Worst)