Appreciate your Time at YU: Going to Hershey Park with the Senior Class as a Non-Senior

By: David Yagudayev  |  May 27, 2024

By David Yagudayev, Arts and Culture Editor

On Wednesday May 22, I got an email titled, “Flash Sale – Hershey Park Tickets.” For the entire week between the end of finals and commencement, the Office of Student Life offered various activities for graduating seniors, and kindly  offered extra remaining tickets for this senior trip to the rest of the undergraduate student body. 

I didn’t think much of it at first, but seeing that the ticket was very inexpensive (just $10) and came with meals made me realize that this was a deal I could not turn down. Little did I know how fun and meaningful this trip would be for me. I gleaned many lessons from these few hours spent with my peers. 

The day after receiving this email, we made our way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to visit the chocolate themed park. A few other juniors also purchased some tickets, and along with the other seniors, we set out to fully experience the theme park and ride all the roller coasters it had to offer. 

Sharing this experience with the seniors was strange. They are dear friends and acquaintances that I made over my time at YU, and soon they will be leaving for good to pursue the next step in their lives. In retrospect, I wish I would have gotten to know all these friends a little bit better before they left. Maybe go out with them for lunch when I had the chance or to that club meeting where I’d see them and get to spend time with them, instead of forgoing that opportunity. You could tell based on the body language and discussions between the underclassmen and seniors that they were reminiscing on their time at YU, knowing that this would be one of our last collective experiences together as a class before graduation – the big send off day recognizing their achievements. 

What is even stranger is that next year, I too will be an upper senior, in the same position nearing my graduation and the end of my time at YU, moving toward the next chapter of my life. Time seems to fly so fast. I still remember when I came into YU as a first time on campus student (FTOC) and joined my first shiur, where I met upperclassmen, friends of mine who are now seniors and graduating in a short while. 

My whole experience that day on this senior trip, as a non-senior, reminded me of a quote that someone once shared with me from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast and if you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you could miss it.” It is extremely important to make the most of your time at YU, because believe it or not, you will be graduating soon. Take advantage of your time in college and truly appreciate all the moments it has to offer. 

We had a lot of fun that day. Rides, exhibitions, making new friends, an amazing dinner, and a coach bus ride back home, all of which made this trip truly special. However, despite all these moments, my biggest takeaway was coming to appreciate the lessons I learned from my friends and fellow upperclassmen, friends that I realize I may never see in-person again: the reminder to make the most of your time at YU. In my upcoming final year as a YU senior, I will take these lessons from that day with me, and try my best to heed their advice and truly make the most of my time, every single moment. I encourage you to do the same.