I’ve learned that the end of the spring semester is filled with mixed emotions. It’s a thrill to witness students prepare for graduation and careers, but at the same time it’s sad to see them leave the Hofstra nest. This semester feels particularly bittersweet, as I’ve become very close to several young people who touched me by the way they’ve handled serious challenges.
Some of my students pushed themselves too hard this past year. The stress of schoolwork, double majors, multiple activities, and social pressures became obvious, but they battled back and found ways to balance their obligations. A couple of my students had to cope with the sudden loss of a parent; another the tragic loss of a sister. Yet all came back to campus to complete their studies. I admire how they found the resolve to do so.
Several of my students stopped by my office during finals week to have one more conversation before they move on. We talked about what lies ahead, what lessons they’ve learned, and how happy they were for choosing public relations as their profession. I also received some hand-written cards which almost made me tear up when I read them. “Thank you for not being an ordinary adviser but instead a mentor!” wrote one. Another said, “You demonstrate your wisdom and compassion and unending dedication to your students every day you teach.” Then there was, “I’m very optimistic about my future and I owe so much of that to you. You gave me opportunities I never would have had without your faith in me as a student, person and professional.” And finally, “Your words of advice and encouragement are what has given me the confidence to follow my dreams. I can’t thank you enough.”
I can’t thank them enough, either. For me there’s no career more meaningful than to teach, advise and mentor. I’m really going to miss my young friends. I wish them all the love, good health and happiness they deserve. Your thoughts?