To my fellow Crusaders…

Here we are, two days from what will probably be considered a major milestone in all our lives. We’re graduating college. A lot of us will be really excited, others will be scared. A lot of folks will be happy and some graduates may be sad.

Just remember this; everything has its time and season. Despite what Jay-Z and Bob Dylan think or wish, we can’t stay forever young. People who spend time wishing they were younger or older are robbing themselves of all the opportunities that are just waiting to present themselves, if only we have our eyes open to see them.

So be brave, be ready and be watchful as you move forward in your life. There’s an adventure out there waiting for us! If you’ve ever read or seen The Lord of the Rings you surely remember the wise words of Bilbo Baggins when he told his nephew, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Of course leaving your comfort zone is going to be dangerous but Frodo still had to take the ring to Mordor. You have a story too, and there’s no walking out on it folks. It’s graduation, and it’s time to move on.

The good news is we’ll be embarking on our great journey with a good education, a solid foundation and a McLane truckload of memories. I mean sure, there have been times where we complained about Crunet, but at the end of the day we realize that we have had the privilege of attending an exceptional university.

We also had the awesome opportunity to be a part of a major transformation or transfiguration of UMHB. There aren’t many classes of the Cru who are or will be able to say, “I remember Tiger Field and the day we ran through the rain and into Crusader Stadium for the first time,” or “I was there when the SUB was underground and when the ribbon was cut for the Bawcom Student Union Building.”

We’ve seen some things. Some Crusaders that go to school here now don’t know what Campus Run is, but we do. Some Crusaders will never know what Running Man is, but we do. Many Crusaders will never know what LiDarrelling is, but we do.

And sure it wasn’t all pretty. We suffered through our share of final exams, not finding parking spots and UMHB parody accounts on Twitter, but as the years pass by I believe we’ll be able to look back with a smile on our face as we say, “Hashtag, go cru.”

At the end of the day, it wasn’t really about the traditions and all that hoopla. It was about the lessons we learned and the friendships we made, sorry to go all Cory Matthews on y’all. But seriously, we forged friendships in late night studying or Whataburger runs, in intramurals, in bands that lasted for two weeks, in suffering through tough classes and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention during the countless battles fought side-by-side in the world of Xbox.

Armed with these memories and lessons (I promise we learned lessons, I just didn’t list them) we can march onward to more glorious battles, and more rewarding victories. We’ll find jobs and work. Maybe start a family. We’ll change jobs and come to class reunions and move across the state or out of the country, and our story will unfold before our eyes.

Then, 50 years from now when you sit down in your lazy boy recliner, and kick up your feet to enjoy the sunny graces of retirement, you’ll look up and see the pages of your life in pictures on the wall, and you’ll be able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

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