Header Logo

May 2, 2023
Daylight: All of it


The finish line is right here. Congratulations! Crowds of family, friends, and onlookers are applauding and cheering you! Way to go! Some of you have already crossed the finish line; you are done with finals. Some are still crossing with a few finals yet to go. Either way, a more peaceful time is coming. You either have or are about to wrap up the spring 2023 semester. Amazing! Well done, this is a huge moment!

Does it feel that way? Sometimes, the moments after a big finish can be anticlimactic. The crowds cheer you on, people wish you well, shower you with adulation, and then it ends. You find yourself in your dorm room, in your car, or back home, with yourself, back where you began.

People have been returning home from great adventures for thousands of years, and yours was months in the making. It was great indeed! It may not feel like it, but you are a different person than when you started. If your outward appearance could convey the magnitude of your journey, you’d look like you just came in from a thousand-mile hike. Your shoes would be worn out, clothing tattered, and your skin weathered. You would look changed. Well, even if it doesn’t look like it, you are a different person for what you have accomplished, you have learned in your classes, but also for what you have learned about yourself. …What?

What have you learned about yourself?

That is something worth spending some time on something worth thinking about.

What did you learn? How did you do? Did you learn more about learning? Did you learn you are more resilient than you thought? Did you learn to draw from reserves you didn’t even know you had? Did your perspectives shift? Your values? (Your values!?) Did you learn more about others and did that help you know more about yourself? Sometimes, it takes a while to become aware of these deep changes. Learning is complicated. This semester, these courses and experiences are all a part of you now. You are different. Like all adventures there were probably hard times as well as high points. Which did you learn more from, the high points or the low?

This is some food for thought as you step out of the term and into your (hopefully amazing) summer.

Now, it is time to celebrate your achievement. Listen to the cheering crowds. We are all cheering for you! It is time to celebrate the end of the semester and the end of your grand adventure. Are you graduating? We will see you at commencement. If you are not yet graduating, I encourage you to go to commencement with your fellow adventurers! It is this coming Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Carlson Center. Celebrate!

Take care of yourself:
It has been a pleasure writing you these notes each week. Thank you for your feedback. Until I write you again at the start of the fall semester, enjoy your summer. That’s all. Whatever it is you do taking classes, working, parenting, doing field work, I hope you find joy each day.

As always, if you have any suggestions or if there is anything we can do better, please let me know at obguthrie@alaska.edu.

— Owen Guthrie, vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management



UAF is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer, educational institution and provider and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.