The Opposite Of Loneliness Commencement Essay

Titled it was written by Marina Keegan and resonated with Maddie because of her experiences here.As she said: “There’s a certain kind of magic that exists within our stone walls, and that magic is what makes us who we are, what helps us become who we will be, what gives a sense of the opposite of loneliness.”What Maddie described is an intangible combination of joy, camaraderie and connectedness that permeated her experiences in the classroom, on the playing field, in the dining hall and the dorm, through organized activities such as the All-School Walk and formal dinners, and quiet moments spent with friends “where everyone feels truly happy and comfortable and safe and content.” Her speech is both a tribute and a testimonial to what we hope all of our students experience, whether they are part of our community for one year or four, and what we hope they will carry with them when they leave our campus and venture out into the world.But if I had gone to a different boarding school, would I be able to make this same speech at that graduation and mean it? And the reason I say no is because I think this opposite of loneliness feeling isn’t something you find everywhere. We’ve all been a part of numerous communities throughout our lives, from our hometowns to other schools to teams and camps and groups, and that’s how I can say with confidence that there’s no place like The Gunnery.

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On May 26, The Gunnery graduated 84 students in the great Class of 2019.

The ceremony was memorable in many ways – from our grand school traditions and the glorious weather to the graduates themselves and our inspiring Commencement speaker, Wanji Walcott P’19, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. Looking back on our 169th Commencement Exercises, what I found memorable, too, were the words of Madeleine Aitken ’19, who delivered the Head Prefect Address.

There’s something about that “in it together” sense of camaraderie alone that makes me feel the opposite of loneliness.

Some of that comes with boarding school itself, I think – the whole living together thing kind of just does that to you.

I think I speak for the entire senior class when I say we have a lot to thank you all for.

To our parents and families, to our teachers, to our friends, especially the ones we’re leaving behind, and above all, to each other. Schomers recommended to me called “The Opposite of Loneliness.” It’s a collection of essays and stories written by Marina Keegan, a 2012 Yale graduate who tragically died in a car crash at 22 years old, just five days after she had graduated.The ones where nothing seems important except each other, where no one’s rushing off to do anything, where everyone feels truly happy and comfortable and safe and content. We go from classes to co-curriculars to dinner to study hall.And our schedules are packed with different things.One of the best decisions I’ve ever made, actually.There’s a certain kind of magic that exists within our stone walls, and that magic is what makes us who we are, what helps us become who we will be, what gives a sense of the opposite of loneliness.In her speech, Maddie captured in a very real and authentic way, what it is like to be a student at boarding school and, more specifically, what it is like to be a student at The Gunnery.Her reflections were inspired in part by a book recommended by her English teacher, Melissa Schomers.I feel impossibly lucky to have spent three years in a place that has made me feel the opposite of loneliness every single day, in ways big and small. Being outside on warm nights, playing on the turf or talking on the quad.I’ve felt it in in traditions, in classes, in co-curriculars, in experiences, in singular moments, in what have and what will become memories. These small moments are the ones in which I feel the opposite of loneliness most.And even after we leave this place, I hope we continue to want it, continue to strive for it, continue to spread it.My greatest hope for us is that when we walk out of this tent today with our diplomas in hand, as we scatter across the globe to attend different colleges and then scatter again to live in different cities and work at different jobs with different people, we stay rooted in what we learned at The Gunnery.


Comments The Opposite Of Loneliness Commencement Essay

  • Montrose's Gabby Landry '18 Wins Letters About Literature.

    May 18, 2017. Your essay “The Opposite of Loneliness” ingrained itself in my mind for days, weeks, months after I first read it. I reread the opening lines three.…

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    May 27, 2019. In her essay, Keegan defined the idea of the opposite of loneliness this way “It's not quite love and it's not quite community; it's just this feeling.…

  • Review The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan.

    Jul 6, 2015. Review The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. The Opposite of Loneliness is a posthumous collection of her essays and stories. evident in 'The Opposite of Loneliness', which reads like a commencement speech.…

  • The view from twenty-two - Maclean's

    Apr 24, 2014. A book review of 'The Opposite of Loneliness' by Marina Keegan. Yet, in the essay, Keegan admits to being “lost in a sea of liberal arts,” while. Keegan died in a car crash five days after commencement, at the age of 22.…

  • A Life's Promise, Tragically Broken NPR

    Jun 2, 2012. special edition the Yale Daily News handed out at commencement five days before she died. In the piece, titled "The Opposite of Loneliness,".…

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    Dec 18, 2013. The exquisite commencement address is a special kind of art, necessitating. On Grief and Reason Essays public library under the title “Speech at the Stadium.”. as well as about loneliness, than you do; coveting eyes that they are. A pointed finger is a victim's logo — the opposite of the V-sign and a.…

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