Thoughts from a 2020 graduate: A season of loss & gratitude…

A bronze wolf statue sits atop a rock

Editor’s note: The following is a blog post from Isabelle Rocco, a graduating senior in communications who took Bob Patterson’s World Population and Food Prospects class (STS 323) in her first semester at NC State.  The class and professor made such an impression on her that she was recently moved to email Bob Patterson to check on his well-being and share reflections on her time at NC State and the future.  We are happy to share Isabella’s words of encouragement (with her permission) to fellow students.  Thank you Isabelle, and all students, who prioritize gratitude and sharing.  You are well-equipped for whatever your future brings!

To my fellow graduating seniors, this is certainly a trying time for us. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, college didn’t have the ending we all expected. The Class of 2020 has lost the last couple of months of our final spring semester; the cookouts, baseball games, formals, LDOC festivities…and even graduation.

I have personally felt moments of deep sadness, grief, and frustration as I reflect upon all I had planned and anticipated for my final two months at NC State.

While there is most certainly a time to grieve these losses, I want to challenge the class of 2020 to look behind and before us with a posture of gratitude for the time that we did have in college. Author Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

I am thankful for the dorm rooms & the dining halls.
I am thankful for the FDOC’s & the LDOC’s.
I am thankful for the tailgates & the football games.
I am thankful for the professors & the campus staff.
I am thankful for the extracurriculars & the organizations.
I am thankful for the education & the unparalleled experiences.
I am thankful for the growth & the change.
I am thankful for the red & white.
I am thankful for the rituals & traditions.
And I am thankful for a list that could go on & on…

Lastly, thank you to NC State University for gifting me the greatest years of my life! My parents have always said that it’s the people who create a college experience. The NC State community has blessed my life in ways that words cannot express. I am thankful that my time in college is one that I am sure to never forget!

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