Per Aspera Ad Astra

Hardship- a state or instance of serious continued difficulty or misfortune. Someone had it right to make our university’s motto “per aspera ad astra” or in English “through hardship to the stars”.  As many seniors look back, even as little as one week ago rounding out finals period, being a Stevens student entails encountering hardship. Whether it’s pulling multiple all nighters to pass Organic Chemistry II or trying to run up the bike stairs without tripping and/or having a heart attack (guilty of both) every student has faced some sort of difficulty on this campus. During those difficult times we probably felt defeated, thought this was the end and the stress completely won, and wanted to simply wave the white flag. Class of 2017, I am thrilled and proud to say we have fought “through hardship” and have made it “to the stars”.

Each member of the Class of 2017 has a different story about hardship caused by this school to tell about. It would be extremely rare to say two students are completely similar, even to those who might have coincidentally been the same major and involved in the same activities. The one thing I do believe we have in common is that this school was no easy trek. There were of course academic challenges, it’s an Institute of Technology, but the ups and downs of college in general could arguably be an additional minor or double major that each of us have accomplished. Just as professors and advisors got us through our Bachelor’s Degrees, our friends, teammates, club members, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, etc have helped us through the life troubles and celebrated our triumphs that our college experience has brought to us. Of course our families and friends back home were there to help too. Fighting hardship is a fight that each person does differently but they definitely does not do alone. All of our stories may be different but I can surely say they interweave more so than we think they do.

I could never really fathom how much the Stevens community has helped to shape my story until now. As a person who cannot walk from one side of campus to the other without saying hi to at least 15 different people, I’ve come to cross paths with many phenomenal colleagues and professionals throughout the years. From day one, I was always so amazed about the supportive community here on this campus and I will truly miss it as I move onto the next chapter of my life. I always called Stevens “the diamond in the rough” and the sentiment still remains true. My last article in The Stute would be remiss without taking the time for thank everyone, yes literally everyone, who makes Stevens what it is today and who made it the best decision to attend. I have indeed encountered instances of “continued difficulty or misfortune” but it is the people of Stevens, and not going to lie of Mikie Squared, who helped me push through. After taking some time to think about the good and bad times of my college career, omitting mental breakdowns caused by ChemE Thermo because I think everyone knows why, it is the Stevens community who has made me the person I am walking across the stage to get my diploma.

So what are “the stars”? Long term for me, it’s finishing my Master’s, working at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and taking a long awaited guilt free nap. For you? It’s what you want it to be. Stevens has provided you the education, connections, and friendships that could literally take you wherever you want to go. For now, the stars are enjoying your last days on Castle Point. Sit out by the cannon. Go say hi to Pearl in Pierce! The stars are simply how you want to end your college experience. Per aspera ad astra. We did it fam.