To honor this year’s graduating Novo Collegians, students, faculty and staff created the 2020 Senior Wellbeing Project—a virtual scrapbook of pictures, advice, stories and well wishes.
It was an initiative spearheaded by Professor Heidi Harley, Ph.D. (and the students in her lab class, The Wellbeing of Humans and Other Animals: Cognitive Laboratory in Parallel Approaches to Facilitating Wellbeing Across Species). Members of the New College Community contributed submissions to the website. Here are some of the reflections:
“As you embark on the next chapter, you are probably excited and possibly a little anxious. That is normal under the best of circumstances, but this year, if you didn’t feel that way, you would be most unusual. When I graduated from New College, I thought I would go off to graduate school and earn my Ph.D. in economics and then become a professor. I did go to graduate school but shortly after I got there realized that a life in academia was not really for me. I transitioned to a retail training program, became a manager in that industry, switched to personnel (ultimately human resources) and found my passion. Later, I ran a corporate foundation. I did not have a plan. I did have some guiding principles. Work very hard in every job you have to do the best job you can. Learn from everyone around you. Be a good partner to your colleagues. Be open to new and different experiences, even if they might seem intimidating. Do not get paralyzed when you hit obstacles or make mistakes. I learned more from those experiences than I did from any of my mistakes. Try to maintain a reasonable perspective. A sense of humor is always helpful. Be true to your ethics and morals, and do not work for people or organizations that don’t share similar values. My career was very circuitous and truly rewarding. I never could have predicted where I ended up, but it all worked out. Best of luck to you in wherever your path takes you. What you have learned at New College will be helpful to you along the way.” —Felice Schulaner, ’78, chair, New College Board of Trustees
“My favorite memories from NCF all involve sunsets at the bay. During my best and worst moments throughout my four years as a student here, a walk to the bay during sunset has never ever failed to make it better—whether it was with some of my wonderful and quirky friends, all by myself, or a few feet away from another lone student pondering, meditating, playing music or doing whatever. Never forget to take advantage of the bay!!!” —Maya Greenberg, class of 2020
“Drink it in. Leave your dorm sometimes. Walk with your bare feet all the way to the bay. Avoid anthills. Climb so many trees. Notice with whom you share your world. Try everything (safely). Play in the bioluminescence. Remember that you are enough. Meditate. Watch the honeybees. Dance however you’d like and don’t mind who is watching. Yes, you chose to be here. Yes, it’s extremely hard and eye-opening and exhausting and exciting. Find your peace.” —Liz Bates, class of 2021
“Try your best to create an even balance between academic and social activities. It can be really hard to do so, especially at the beginning, coming into a new environment (college, but also specifically New College)—but it’s really beneficial to figure out what works for you and try your best to stick to that sort of routine/plan. Always try to find some time for relaxing alone too. I would also recommend that you reach out to your professors if you feel like you’re struggling, or if you have any questions at all. They’re there to help you, and to create a close professor-student dynamic with you to make your classes and time at NCF so worthwhile.” —Kenzie Timms, class of 2021