Reflecting on a Bittersweet Goodbye


(Hunter Benagas / The Fordham Ram)

Max Quintas, Operations and Marketing Director

This year, I volunteered to be an orientation leader for Freshman Orientation. While there were many things I enjoyed (and didn’t) about orientation, there was one moment that really hit me like a convoy of trucks full of cement.

After finishing up orientation training, my partner and I finally got a chance to meet our freshmen. A few awkward introductions and icebreakers later, we asked them if they had any general questions. As one might expect, we got hit with a flood of concerns that you’d only hear from freshmen: where is FMH?, is the food really that bad? or who is Suits?

It’s easy to hear these questions and laugh, thinking that the freshmen have no idea what they’re getting themselves into. But as they kept shooting queries, a realization began to dawn on me: That was me at one point. For a moment, it really occurred to me that I was a senior and that this was my last year at Fordham. All I could think to myself was, “Where did the time go?”

Of course, I had to get back to answering questions and running through orientation, so I shoved my thoughts aside. But as soon as the day ended, I walked back to my apartment and thought about it some more. 

I reflected a bit on the years so far. I had vivid memories of key moments throughout my time here at Fordham; some great, some horrible, some that I am proud of and some that I beg my friends never to bring up again.

Amid my nostalgia, what stood out to me most was that initial sense of euphoria I had coming in as a freshman. I didn’t have the best experience in high school, so when I entered my first year of college, I had this ambition to make the most of my time here and figure out who I was and what I wanted. With four years ahead of me, I felt like I had all the time in the world to accomplish these goals. 

Yet, what seemed like a lot of time didn’t feel like it. The years went by quicker than I could have imagined, and with that came the sobering understanding that the clock was ticking; it wouldn’t be long until I graduated and left my life here at Fordham behind. 

And it wasn’t just thinking about the past that put me in a somber mood. I got anxious thinking about the future too. “What does the next chapter of my life look like? Am I even ready for it?” 

As these concerns fluttered around my mind, I began to wonder if I felt this way as a senior in high school. I mentioned this already, but my time in high school was anything but perfect. With that in mind, I remembered that I actually didn’t feel like this at all. As high school graduation came closer and closer, I was ecstatic to be going to Fordham. The decision to move onto the next thing was made with extreme enthusiasm and little to no hesitation. 

In reliving that memory, a light bulb flickered on in my head. I realized just how lucky I was to be this upset. Of course, it hurts realizing that pretty soon, my time at Fordham will come to an end. But it hurts only because I had such a great time here. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be upset at all. 

And all of those key moments I mentioned before — the nights I laughed, the nights I cried and everything in between — have helped shape me into the person I am today. If I met my freshman self now, I don’t think he’d even recognize the person standing before him. 

I don’t know what the future holds in store for me, and I doubt that I’m alone in that regard, but I do feel as though the time I’ve spent here has prepared me for what comes next. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way.