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  • Lauren Schifley

Mission 100 Days: This too shall pass

By Lauren Schifley, Art Director Emeritus

Lauren at Accepted Students Day 2019 — she had no idea what was going to happen during her time at college.

For those who don’t know me, my name is Lauren Schifley. I double major in DMA and IMC. I aspire to be a graphic designer after graduation, but writing that here feels different from the hundreds of other times I’ve had to do so. It is so much more pressing now that we are nearing the halfway point of my final spring semester. Even stranger is that I am writing this from my bedroom in Barcelona, Spain; but we’ll get to that later. For now, if you’ll indulge me for a few hundred words, we’ll start by going back a few years.

My first encounter with Canisius was through a college tour for my oldest sister. Our parents took the whole family on these trips to cut down on our future tours and decision time, which in my case totally worked. Even though the tour wasn’t for me, I knew as soon as I stepped on campus that Canisius was where I was going to go. It was just one of those unexplainable feeling moments and I swear it sounds cheesier every time I talk about it. I got the same feeling when I researched their programs for an English project on future plans and again when my mom took me for a tour senior year of high school. That feeling was right though, because despite everything, I have never even come close to regretting my decision. In fact, I still get that feeling every day.

The first semester was perfect! I had an awesome roommate, made tons of friends, joined lots of clubs and worked hard in my classes. For the spring semester, however, those things got cut short. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but there is something called the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down the college in the spring of 2020 (we are nearing the two year anniversary — how fun!). I still remember the sinking feeling when they told us that it would be longer than the original plan of two weeks, and the subsequent ache of having to go back to campus just to pack my things. Luckily, I was still able to do everything I did that first semester and more, even if it was more limited.

I made a painting toward the end of that semester with a phrase that had sort of become my own personal mantra,“This too shall pass,” and I hung it up in my dorm room the next year when we were finally able to return to campus.

I like this phrase because it can be used during good and bad times. Nothing lasts forever, and that’s okay. Last year was so much fun — it was everything I hoped college would be and more. I continued to have an awesome roommate, I caught up with my friends and even made a few more, and I took on a few more leadership roles. Most notably, I got to achieve my childhood dream of designing a book (shoutout to my baby, Quadrangle 69). You have no idea how unbelievably proud past Lauren is.

All of this continues, of course, to this school year. My plan was always to graduate one semester early, but it turns out that I can do two semesters early instead. While that news was exciting, it’s inevitably bittersweet when a good thing comes to an end. But this too shall pass. Another part of my grand college plan was to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea in the spring semester of my junior year.

Those who don’t know me as well are probably thinking “wait, didn’t she say at the beginning that she was in Spain?” Yeah, about that… I wanted to study abroad specifically in South Korea since I was about 14; however, with the pandemic, the university in Seoul was only offering online classes in the spring. I then decided to go to Tokyo, Japan, but they were not letting foreigners into the country at the time, even with a student visa. A few other options later, I ended up choosing Barcelona. Although it wasn’t my first (or second, or third) choice, it ended up being the best option in the long run. The universe works in mysterious ways, and I am absolutely loving my time here.

The biggest downside is having to miss club activities and all of the cute little senior things, but that was going to happen anyway. The senior thing that is the hardest to miss is the graduation ceremony. The semester here goes until June, so I will not be back in time to walk the stage in person, which hurts a little of course, but that is part of what I signed up for. Either way, I will end up being an alumna of Canisius College.

I want to end this by thanking everyone I’ve encountered here, especially those that I am lucky enough to have gotten close to. I would always get by during the lower points in my mental health journey by telling myself that things were going to get better once I got to college. My most repeated thoughts were about how no one understood me and that I didn’t fit in with everyone else around me, so the notion of things being completely different in the future was very comforting. I’m so happy to say that I was 100% right. Things were better in college and I finally found a place where I belonged and was understood. I truly cannot express just how much my time spent here and this community have meant to me. I leave you with the same words that I leave for my younger self: please know this, you are so much greater than you know, and I promise, this too shall pass.

Senior Year Picture

Had to follow the tradition of taking a picture with this statue freshman and senior year; here is the senior year one.

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