Making the most of your time here means investing in relationships.
It’s not that classes and schoolwork aren’t important. They are. But what really matters? People. Friends. Relationships.
I think the best way to cultivate meaningful friendships is to get involved in groups that give you responsibility, allow you to impact others and, most importantly, lead to deep relationships.
For me, that’s meant being an editor of Pipe Dream and the vice president of Chabad. For you it could be any number of things. Sure, I believe in Chabad and Pipe Dream’s distinct purposes, in the values of Jewish community and journalism, respectively. But what’s a newspaper without readers? What’s Shabbat dinner without friends?
Before my thank-yous, here’s a few succinct nuggets of senior wisdom: Use your phone less. Befriend professors by visiting their office hours. The Nature Preserve is most beautiful in untouched snow. Also, go by yourself. Naps are OK if it means staying up later with your friends. Watching TV alone is an unfortunate way to spend your time.
Like anything, you’ll get out of Binghamton what you choose to invest. I’ve chosen to give my all, often sacrificing sleep and my health along the way. And I don’t regret it for a second. Because the returns have been invaluable.
The biggest blessings I have are the people in my life.
Mommy and daddy, to think that I could put something here that would be adequate is silly. Thank you for always being supportive, even if I sometimes pushed back.
The Slonim family at Chabad — you’ve taught me the meaning of the word selfless. You’ve ceaselessly opened your homes, as a home away from home, for me and countless other students. Under your guidance I’ve grown as a leader and a friend.
Todd, I’m sure you’ll succeed as president of Chabad. Remember that Chabad is a community unlike any other. For me, Chabad means chicken soup, home and it’s where I’ve grown as a leader. It’s also where I met my best friend, tie-dyeing T-shirts at a Sunday morning bagel brunch four too-short years ago. Lucy, that feels like yesterday and I’m so grateful for our friendship. I know you know this, but I consider our friendship among the most valuable gifts Binghamton’s given me.
I gotta give thanks to my Hayes brothers and sisters. You ensure that I always have someone to drink with. More importantly, without us, Shabbat wouldn’t happen at Bing. I mean, it would happen, it just wouldn’t be the same. I was drawn to Hayes because of the brotherhood and love for Shabbat. And that’s why generations will continue to flock. Keep the cholent brewing; keep the tradition alive.
Eytan, it’s no simple thing for two guys to live together for four years. In other words, I think what we have is special. Sorry if I sometimes teased. I don’t know what it’s going to be like next year living without my partner in crime except that it’s going to be hard. I may have never said it in words, but I consider you my brother here.
Yael, I’m sorry.
My fellow Pipe Dream staff members — I should really say, my Pipe Dream family — it’s impossible for me to express how much this year has meant for me. The commitment our staff shows to the paper is surpassed only by our commitment to one another. You were my closest friends this year. The people I wanted to spend my time with. The people with whom I wrote, edited, partied and now cry.
The best advice I can give folks not graduating is that I hope you can find a group you care about, and that cares about you, as deeply as I have cared for Pipe Dream and it for me.
When I look back on my best times here, I’ll think of the time we got snowed in the office until 7 a.m. I’ll think of our Shabbat dinner in my apartment. I’ll fuzzily remember wine tour. And New Orleans, the turning point in my relationship with Pipe Dream. And the hours after our last nighttime production, reminiscing and trying to make time slow down, even if only for a night.
There’s no way I could have expected this when I became an editor. Christina, that night, in the hallway of the Union basement, you convinced me to stay. It changed my life. Thank you.
To those carrying on the dream, I’m confident you’ll do great and take the paper to the next horizon. I’m excited to look on from afar with pride.
To Jacob, Kara, Tamar and everyone else I don’t have the space to mention by name, I am sorry, thank you and I love you all.
With gratitude to Hashem, and everyone in my life, for supporting me, sustaining me and enabling me to reach this occasion.