Jared Weiss

It’s hard to believe.

I have completed every last assignment, fulfilled every last obligation of my undergraduate career.  In less than a week, I will be leaving this place with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology at age 17, and lo and behold, I will henceforth be a college graduate.

And it’s really hard to believe.

It’s still harder to believe how far I have come over the course of these past four years.  I happened to be looking for an old family photo on my computer just yesterday, and stumbled across a few photos from when I first arrived at Simon’s Rock in August 2010; I was rather stunned by how different I looked then.  But I have also changed in many other, more important ways, not all of which I could have predicted.

Not surprisingly, I have developed substantially as an academic over the course of the past four years.  My interests focused in biology and formed a path leading me toward medicine, while also branching out into fields as diverse as philosophy and literary and film critique.  I gained a great deal of experience working with classmates and colleagues in both professional and higher academic realms.  And, of course, I completed one intensive yearlong senior thesis project that, after all of the stress and frustration, I can say I am very proud of, and am glad I had the opportunity to embark on such a venture.

More surprising perhaps is how much I feel I developed and changed as a person.  In hindsight, change might seem an obvious result of any life experience as substantial as four years of college. But that isn’t something incoming 15, 16, 17 year-old-students necessarily anticipate  I certainly didn’t.  It was certainly inspired by the many fascinating and wonderful people I came to know and befriend—I simply could not have appreciated how close I would become to some of them, or how tremendous their impact would be on me.  It’s hard to describe the nature of that impact, or exactly how I have changed.  The simplest way to put it is that I’ve grown up a fair deal, for better and for worse, but hopefully such that I’m ready for the next stage of my life.

What that will be remains uncertain, as I still await a decision from one medical school.  If I do not start there in the fall, I will likely work as an EMT for a year in my home community, and reapply for medical school next year.  I am looking forward to either scenario, and certainly feel that I leave Simon’s Rock as prepared as I’ll ever be for the imminent future.

Either way, my time at Simon’s Rock has been a consistently interesting, and mostly fun journey. Congratulations to the AA, and especially to the BA graduates of 2014, and best of luck to all as we move into the next stages of our lives.


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