Opinion: Grieving the Losses, Clinging to Hope


Guest Contributor

When I first came to Bridgewater as a freshman in the fall of 2016, I kept accidentally referring to it as “home.” This always used to bother me because my home was not on campus, it was in Maryland. This frustration did not last long; soon after my first semester, Bridgewater and home became synonymous. Bridgewater College, my professors, my friends and my acquaintances are all threads that have been woven together to make up a unique part of my identity. At Bridgewater, I belong, I am safe and I am loved. I feel deeply connected to this place and these people. At the beginning of this year, the thought of leaving Bridgewater terrified and saddened me. I was not ready to move on, but what kept me going was knowing that there would still be more beautiful memories to make before graduation. 

Having all of this ripped away from us so suddenly is absolutely heart-breaking. No proper good-byes, no celebrations, no more doing things for the “last time” as students of Bridgewater College. Memories, experiences, and opportunities were taken from us, at the fault of no one, in the blink of an eye. Many of us are still grieving what should have been. I am not going to speak for everyone, but many of the seniors do not feel prepared to leave the community that quickly became our home. We are about to be thrown into the real world; a myriad of uncertainties lie ahead of us. Before we face these realities, I believe that we need time to come back together as one body to say goodbye, finish our “lasts” and celebrate. 

My hope, as we move forward together, is that Bridgewater will help us take the broken pieces of our senior year and make something beautiful out of the shards. My hope is that they will support us during this time and bring us a new vision of our closing events, even if they look different than we originally imagined. I know the College is working diligently to try and reschedule Commencement, but I also think it’s crucial that they find ways to close out our time before we walk across the stage. We must walk the campus and visit the buildings for the last time as students, we must say goodbye to our professors and to each other. We must participate in the traditions that every senior before us has gotten the chance to participate in. We must find creative ways to rebuild what has been destroyed. I believe that if the seniors work closely with administration, we will be able to put the pieces back together. May we all cling to this hope and work together to bring light to this dark time. May we all take the necessary precautions so that we can be back together on campus again and receive the closure that we desperately need.

Amelia Gunn is a liberal studies major in the teacher education program