There are only a few weeks left in the spring semester, which can mean a number of different things to a Maryville College senior: studying for comps, applying to grad schools, searching for jobs, etc.
It also means that a major chapter of their lives is coming to an end. It’s time to say goodbye.
Still, just because students graduate and moves on, it doesn’t mean that MC is forever gone from their lives. They may not attend classes in Anderson or do labs in Sutton, but it’s probably fair to say that a part of MC will live on in every graduating senior. Many may begin their freshmen years simply seeking some credentials in the job market, but more often than not, MC leaves them with a little bit more.
Bridget Sternisha’s graduation is about a month away, and she thinks back fondly on the people that have become integral parts of her life.
“Maryville hasn’t just given me a degree, it’s given me some of the greatest friends I’ve ever known, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world,” Sternisha said.
While she is sad to see her time at MC go, she’s ready for the next part of her life and grateful for the skills she’s gained during her years as a student.
“I am sad that my time at Maryville is almost up, [but] I’m excited to be able to take the leap into the real world and confident that I’ll kick butt and take names at anything the world throws at me,” Sternisha said. “Bring it, adulthood!”
For Kasi Roach, an avid volunteer and Bonner scholar, MC has been an inspiration. Roach believes that her time spent at the college has given her a feeling of duty to help those around her.
“This is probably clichéd, but Maryville provided me with experiences that have allowed me to develop a sense of responsibility and passion for the world I live in,” Roach said.
With hundreds of community service hours under her belt, Roach will undoubtedly be well equipped to make a difference in the real world.
“[MC] kind of lit a fire under me that I didn’t really expect or understand at first, but now I’m excited to see what I can change and create with my knowledge and my fire.”
Many students pride themselves on their MC educations, on account of the numerous research skills taught through the rigorous academic curriculum. Shannon Giles is one such student, and she believes that her time at MC has given her the ability to adapt to nearly any situation.
“I think that the biggest thing I’ve gotten out of college is that I’ve learned how to learn,” Giles said. “I realize that not everything I’ve studied will have practical applications to my career, but it’s given me confidence that I can immerse myself into any situation and apply myself well.”
Giles, though, has learned more from MC than simply how to do research.
“I’ve also developed invaluable relationship skills, from teamwork within the classroom to lifelong friendships,” she said. “People are important and helpful, and you can’t succeed without them.”
Many seniors are looking forward to going out into the world and attempting to bring about positive changes, and Louden Young is no exception.
“Isaac Anderson once said, ‘Do Good on the greatest possible scale,’” Young said. “Why did I do this? Most simply put, I think we all want to change the world for the better.”
While he looks forward to making an impact, Young believes his time spent at MC has already left a mark.
“At Maryville, I think I have changed myself,” he said. “In doing so, I have changed my friends, who have changed the college, which is changing the city, which will continue to change the state, which will help change the country, which will then change the world.”
There may be tears, and likely cheers, but no matter the emotions felt on graduation day, seniors will be able to look back at their time spent at Maryville and realize that they’ve been changed.
Whether it be friendships that will never be forgotten, an unstoppable passion for philanthropy or leadership skills that can fit any sort of occupation, they’ll be sure of one thing: Maryville College made a difference.