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Senior Spotlights Stories

Finishing Strong: Graduating Amidst a Pandemic

Keeping Up with King’s follows the lives of King’s students as they transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. Many have moved back home with family until the summer, some have stayed in the city, others are staying with friends, but all are adjusting to new lifestyles. 

Today’s story features soon-to-be graduate Thomas Gatt, a Politics, Philosophy, and Economics major in the house of Reagan. Before King’s went online, Thomas lived off-campus with some friends from King’s, and came home to stay during spring break. He is finishing his semester in Arlington, Texas, with three other siblings at home. Since his best fountain pens were at home, Thomas has started writing letters again and experimenting with different handwriting styles. 

Thomas has been writing a letter to his fellow seniors (keep an eye out for it soon!). He hopes to thank his classmates for all of the memories they helped create, regardless of how bumpy the road has been. He is thankful that his friends have stayed closed and banded together through the past few years. Even though classes have ended differently, and Interregnum took place differently, Thomas says he was astounded by the involvement of the senior class. He believes this resilience will prepare them for success wherever they go next, and he is proud to be graduating with a group of such strong character.

To the other students, Thomas hopes to encourage them to persevere– not just through the trial of social isolation, but through whatever other paths for character development they encounter. He says that, in the journey to become what God has destined for us to become, it is important to focus on our growth as people, especially in an ever-changing world. 

I asked Thomas where he would go if Texas opened back up for a day, and he said he would go see a baseball game with his family because they live very close to the stadium. If New York opened up for just a day, Thomas said he would go to Washington Square park to see his close community at the NYU Catholic Center. But first, he would go back to King’s! He says he would want to thank the people who have influenced his years there and to finalize his sending off from college. 

Which professors, faculty, or staff have influenced your stay at King’s? Leave a comment below!

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Senior Spotlights

Message from a Senior Graduating Amidst COVID-19

Keeping Up with King’s follows the lives of King’s students as they transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. Many have moved back home with family until the summer, some have stayed in the city, others are staying with friends, but all are adjusting to new lifestyles. 

Today’s post features Senior Sydney Watson, a soon-to-be graduate of King’s. Sydney is a Media, Culture, and the Arts major in the house of Clara Barton. She had planned to visit a cousin in Southern California over Easter, and ended up coming over Spring Break instead. Because the shelter-in-place order started a few days later, Sydney stayed with her cousin to finish the semester. She is currently in the LA area, so she is considering setting up shop in LA after quarantine to work. 

Routine to Mindset

Sydney shares that she associates mindset with place very strongly, so she needed a strong routine to get her mind into school mode. She begins her day by making the bed, opening the drapes, and looking at the beautiful scenic mountains outside her window. Sydney’s extended family has four dogs (Samson, Delilah, Salt, and Pepper!), so she lets them out in the mornings as well. Other parts of her routine include watering the garden, going on hikes, doing some watercoloring, and exploring other creative outlets she did not have a chance to before. 

Staying in Touch

Another hobby Sydney has taken up is writing snail-mail letters to her friends. She is using quality cardstock and burning the edges to give it a rustic look! Though she misses her guitar in Brooklyn (and her guitars, ukulele, and keyboard back home in Michigan!) Sydney has been writing some poetry while she can’t make music. She keeps in touch with family in Michigan by facetiming her parents every day, and sending her brother the daily meme or song lyric. 

Wisdom from Grace

Sydney wishes she could tell her fellow seniors to take a deep breath! She shares that she is an intense planner, so she had to intentionally make herself inhale, exhale, and accept what she cannot control. Sydney also wished to tell other students that it’s okay to be upset, even if you haven’t been robbed of a graduation by the pandemic. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors all around are losing things as well, and it is okay to mourn those losses! The seniors don’t have it worse, she says. They just have it different. I could hear a wind chime sounding outside while Sydney shared this wisdom, which illustrated to me how Sydney finds peaceful moments amidst widespread uncertainty. 

I asked Sydney where she would go in the City when things settle down, and she said she would go to her favorite cafe on the Lower East Side, Granddaddy. The atmosphere is casual and cute, the drinks are great, the bagels are delicious, and they play full-length albums! Where would you go if New York City opened up tomorrow? Leave a comment below!