By Sean Callahan, Editor-in-Chief
I was stumped on how to begin this letter. On where to begin. I looked back on the letters of the three Editor-in-Chiefs before me, and from each of them, I noticed a progression. From each of them, I noticed an acknowledgement of change, of resilience, and of growth.
And now, as I write this, we’re in the third week of another new year. I want to say this is a normal year at Saint Vincent College. There are no masks, no social distance enforcements, no campus wide COVID lockdowns. Everyone is visiting dorms, gathering in communion at the caf, shack, Carey Center, and student chapel. Club and intramural sports are taking off in full force.
But what I also noticed in the previous editor letters was reflection on times of normalcy. The problem is, I don’t know what a normal year at SVC looks like. I come from the high school class of 2020, like many of my fellow seniors, the now class of 2024. Our world was upended in March of 2020. Many of us didn’t get a final graduation party, a last dance at prom, or a chance to walk the stage in a crowded auditorium. By the time summer came, we likely didn’t expect to be standing on a college campus in-person.
I could spend the rest of this letter talking about the same things the class of 2024 lost, the pandemic, and fears of the ongoing war in Europe. But I think many seniors—and countless students and staff as well—will agree with me when I say that I’m tired of doing that. I’m tired of mourning empty auditoriums during graduation, of home lockdowns, of lost opportunities. I’m tired of fixating on the trauma of the pandemic and mourning the hand that society has been dealt since 2020. I’ve had enough of sitting and thinking about what ifs and what could’ve beens.
Saint Vincent community members, I have advice for all of you, regardless of if you are a freshman, a tenured professor of 20 years, a well distinguished alumni, or a parent of a student. Focus on what you do now. Focus on what you can change now with the power you have now. You cannot change the past and you cannot predict the future. No one on this campus has the nuclear launch codes, magic levers that control the economy, or a button that stops pandemics.No one reading this can say for sure how much time they have left, or how things would’ve been had they taken a missed opportunity. But what you do know for sure is what you can change, right now, in this moment. The littles things you do now amount to big things for your life, and for those around you. You don’t know what tomorrow is like. So love thy neighbor as yourself.
And if the past four years have taught me anything, it is that there is no normal year of anything, let alone a normal year of attending SVC. There is no normal year of life. If there were, we would fail to see how extraordinary and worth living life is. If the stories in The Reviewaccomplish nothing else this year, I hope it will at least reflect this view of life.
This is all to say, I wish you all a happy fall semester, and a subsequent spring semester to come! I’m excited to see what this new year will bring and what each of you will do today. Right now.