Column: Looking back through the years

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At this point in the semester I usually feel like I’m running on fumes and that there is no end in sight. However, this year, while I still feel pretty worn out, the end of my senior year is speeding towards me on full throttle. 

Despite knowing the past four years were inevitably going to fly by, I still find myself shocked to be where I am now. My relatives tell me how much I’ve grown and matured, but considering that I have the same bedding from freshman year and still don’t actually know the rules of laundry (I just kind of wing it and hope for the best), it’s difficult for me to see what they do. 

Senior Dede Passione, ‘21, helped me reminisce about how the last four years have impacted her and detailed the special things about Lehigh that she’ll never forget. 

Passione transferred into Lehigh at the beginning of her sophomore year and she raved about the smooth transition and how she immediately knew she had made the right decision.  

“There were probably 15 of us and we got each other’s numbers,” Passione said. “It was really nice. We had a little community to reach out to each other and I ended up getting really close to a group from that. It was just really easy to meet people initially.” 

Coming from a large city school with little community, Passione appreciated the complete shift in environment she found when she came to Lehigh and looks back at her decision to transfer as one of the best she has ever made. 

Passione also reflected on a struggle she faced in her time here and how it ultimately helped her in ways she didn’t recognize at the time. 

“Greek life for me was kind of a bummer because I had been in a sorority at my last school so I couldn’t join one here and I knew Greek life was huge here,” Passione said. It definitely made things harder but I was able to find people who weren’t in sororities that I really vibed with and I felt like it was more authentic than being in a community where you’re all forced to be friends in a sense.” 

Although Greek life didn’t quite work out for Passione here, she was able to find genuine friendships on her own, which she acknowledges she might not have otherwise.

She was also extremely thankful for the opportunity to live in Farrington Square, which would not have happened had she joined a Greek chapter. 

“I loved Farrington,” Passione said. “It was so close to everything. I could go FML in the dead of winter and not have to worry about hiking up the hill to get home.” 

When asked about what she loves most about her time in Bethlehem Passione commented on the comradery she felt between her and her classmates. 

“Regardless of being in Greek life or not, everyone stays on campus because you’re in the middle of Pennsylvania,” Passione said. “Those Saturdays were the best days ever when you knew you were going to run into everyone and you were just going to have so much fun.”

The feeling of having a sunny afternoon free to bounce around the hill with your friends is also not something I will soon forget.    

The one piece of advice that Passione would give her younger self or pass on to current first-years was to get more involved with clubs. 

“To me it seemed overrated, like everyone was a part of a club, but not involved,” Passione said. “I wish I just stuck to like three clubs that I actually was interested in. It’s one thing to have classes all the time and have a booked schedule, but being able to apply yourself in a different outlet where you’re still learning is so valuable.” 

Passione is heading to New York City after she graduates, which marks the beginning of a new phase in her life. She is excited for the opportunities in front of her and will bring a wealth of knowledge and good memories from the last four years along with her for the ride.    

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