To the Class of 2020

There are no words that I can say that you have not already heard. How upsetting it is to have our college experience abruptly end, to miss out on the closure we hoped we would have, to be confined to our homes and faced with the uncertainty of the world around us. Hopefully, for all of us, missing out on our final months of college will be the greatest of our concerns, that we can stay healthy and retain some measure of stability.

It is disheartening to have the end of our college experience unfold like it has, but recently, I have been reflecting a lot about the memories we have made at SU. These memories persist in spite of everything. Memories of our first Duke game, our first Mayfest, the first time we realized campus started to feel like home, the first snowfall that blankets the campus in the fall, and then (many) months later, the first warm, spring day when the quad bursts back to life. It is because of the significance of these moments in our lives that the abrupt ending has felt as disheartening as it has. So, to honor these moments and to focus on something more uplifting, I want to remember some of the funnier memories unique to the Class of 2020:

  1. The Clown Scare. Do you remember when there was a trend where people would dress up as clowns and try to scare students on college campuses? And students would react by chasing the clowns? Our freshman year there were reports of clowns all over campus. Most of the reports turned out to be fake, but there was still a bunch of freshmen walking around in herds trying to find the clowns (certainly not Sadler 5, we would never).
  2. No Ubers Freshman Year. The kids these days have no idea how hard we had it back in 2016 – 2017. These days, if we need to get to the airport or the grocery store and have no means of transportation, we can just call an Uber or Lyft and be fine. But back in the day, we had to google a taxi service, plan a trip, and pay via card or cash. The struggle!
  3. The Famous Tendie Removal. Tendie Thursdays will always go down as one of the most important aspects of the Syracuse University dining experience. But sophomore year, news started to spread that the decision had been made to REMOVE Tendie Thursday. Of course, that didn’t last long because pretty soon several students had sent emails pleading to have Tendie Thursdays reinstated (#savethetendies).
  4. A Snow Day Record. When the university cancelled classes due to inclement weather our sophomore year, we were experiencing a historical moment. That was only the third EVER snow day in Syracuse University’s history. (We would also later get to experience the fourth ever snow day.)
  5. A Senior Class Picture Representative of the Class of 2020. If you do a side-by-side of the 2020 picture we took in the dome our freshman year with the one we tried to take at the Senior Send Off in the Dome this past February, you’ll notice just a *slight* difference. I’m sure the alcohol and senioritis didn’t help.

Class of 2020 picture on the dome fieldA sad attempt at recreating the class of 2020 picture on the dome field

Even as our unconventional senior year comes to a close, we are able to truly appreciate our Orange community and we have added new memories to the old ones that we cherish. We have seen professor’s pets (or children in some cases) pop onto the screen during Zoom lectures. Instead of traditional photos, we now have screenshots of send-off celebrations, virtual team meetings or just video chats with friends. Many of us have transitioned from an individual mindset to a collective one which pushes us to check up one one another, sometimes with a simple “how are you?” We have supported faculty, staff and fellow students in our unprecedented transition to online platforms. These are memories that we will hopefully look back on with

Each of our individual and our collective experiences at Syracuse University have certainly not been perfect, and the way it is ending is less than ideal. But there are memories we have made on campus that will stay with us beyond the end of our undergraduate experience. And just because we won’t be in person together doesn’t mean the graduation celebration is over! Senior Week starts Thursday, May 7 and lasts until the virtual special recognition for graduates on Sunday, May 10. There’s online events, live music and even care packages.

In the days leading up to Senior Week, make sure to take some time to think back on the moments at Syracuse University that made you laugh or brought you joy, scroll through Snapchat memories and reminisce with the friends that have become family—laughter and togetherness are important now more than ever.

Good luck with finals, stay healthy and happy graduation!

Kyle Rosenblum and Serena Omo-Lamai, Senior Class Marshals

The senior class marshals parade down the dome turf