Recent graduate Roomana Sokeechand pens a heartfelt goodbye to her alma mater.
Dear Lycoming College,
Ever since I stepped on your campus, I felt strange, but it was a good strange. With my father beside me, he told me to make the most out of these four years because they will be the best years of my life. I was still young and naïve and did not understand fully what he meant. After four and a half years, I don’t know how to say goodbye to my second home.
I made friends for life, built unforgettable relationships with my professors, and made so much personal and academic progress. Your beautiful campus was the place I had my unforgettable firsts: First time experiencing snow, first time cheering for your basketball team, first time being on the dean’s list. These were all memorable moments.
Entering the unknown
When I came as a freshman, I did not know I could accomplish so much in just four years. Coming to the states, I was confused, scared, and excited. But when I am leaving this December, I feel well-rounded, accomplished, and proud of myself. I came in thinking I wanted to do actuarial science, but now I am graduating with a triple major in mathematics, actuarial science, psychology, and a minor in quantitative economics.
Never in my dreams I would have thought that I, Roomana from a small island [Mauritius in the Indian Ocean], would be able to graduate with three majors. You made the beginning of my dreams come true. I would be forever thankful toward your liberal arts education, as it gave me the opportunity to differentiate between what I am good at and what I truly desire career wise.
It also gave me the chance to explore my passion for photography. You gave value to my passion by helping me create my own series and exhibition on campus. You gave me the chance to have my solo photo exhibition! I would have never even dreamed about that. You do not know how the little girl with the camera in me is so happy.
Guidance and support
Your education and family-like professors helped me to believe in my decision of studying psychology for graduate studies. Not only was this unimaginable for me, but also it was a truth about me that I would have never discovered without you.
You gave me both a mother and a father figure on campus. They offered me guidance and support whenever I needed it. Whether it was my math advisor, my psychology advisor, or my international advisor — having been able to build such genuine and honest relationships with my professors is amazing.
This is for life, because the advice and things I learned in the classroom, of course helped me academically, but also how to tackle life after school. They never made me feel I was less for being an international student, but instead always encouraged me to be myself and praised my small advancements since freshman year.
I will dearly miss the usuals I developed around campus — Caitlyn from Café 1812 knowing my regular order, Kim’s smile when I clock in for work in the library, the endless times spend in the cafeteria. I feel I gained more from you being a small campus, rather than if I attended a big school. The personal attention in classes, personal advising, and the chance to work and develop professional relationships on campus. This gave me the chance to develop skills in the workplace and to learn how to interact with my colleagues in a professional environment.
All these opportunities helped me to build my confidence and shape my personality. I learned that I was able to work and be successful in my studies at the same time. Your extraordinary gift allowed me to teach myself all these skills.
Outside of the classroom, I was able to become part of many activities on campus, but my utmost privilege would be being the vice president of the Multicultural Awareness Group and be a part of planning and hosting the best international dinner ever of 250 guests from across the campus.
I don’t know how I feel about leaving your homey campus. I find myself leaving after four and a half years, being both sad and excited.
Excited because you prepared me for my upcoming journey of what lies ahead. I am excited of the opportunities you created for me, and hopefully will attend graduate school for psychology next fall. But I am also sad because I won’t be on campus anymore. I will miss these greyish-blue AC walls, the moving desks, Mike’s Fun Fridays and my regular visits to Mrs. Feinstein’s office.
Becoming an alumni will be my pride and achievement. Despite being a foreigner in a foreign country, you made it feel safe. You were my far away home. Even when I went back to Mauritius for holidays, I would wait impatiently until I come back to your beautiful campus.
I have not only found happiness but learned lessons the hard way too. You taught me lessons for a lifetime, made me laugh and cry with friends and professors. You taught me hard work will pay off and that doing my best will get me somewhere. For that, I would be always grateful.
Thank you for these four years. I will miss you. It is time for me to spread my wings that you helped me nurture.
—Roomana Sokeechand, Class of 2022
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