At Holdette we wanted to honor some seniors who did not get to fasten their caps like crowns and put on the sleeves to their robes come May. pulled from our very own team, as well as our Back Pocket community we are celebrating our Holdette Class of 2020. Congratulations to our bright and shining seniors, we are so proud of you!


Sarah Greisdorf - Boston University 

I wasn’t supposed to graduate this year. I made the decision last September to speed up my degree and graduate a year early. Little did I know that would mean graduating during a global pandemic in my bedroom. It’s hard not to think about what could’ve been if I hadn’t rushed to get out of college. The normal graduation I could’ve had. The walking across the stage with friends and family watching and waving from the audience. The parties and celebrations and good food. 

If college has taught me anything though, it’s that serendipity and unforeseen circumstances can end up being the greatest blessings. When we plan things out we get the benefit of thinking we know how they are going to work out. However, what often happens is that we end up being disappointed in the situation and ourselves when things go awry. What college and this pandemic have proved is that when we take that expectation and use it to guide our actions but not determine our emotions, we end up being able to see the good in things far more easily. While I think it’s valuable to set goals and work towards them, when things come up or don’t work out the way you planned, I’ve learned to take it as an opportunity to reflect on the good that I can pull from the moment and how I can reorient my path to accommodate that hurdle. It’s very likely that if COVID-19 had not hit, we would not have launched our membership program. It was the change in circumstances that caused us to have to adapt. 

I didn’t intend to graduate in this way, but in a way, it’s given me an incredible perspective on what matters. At the end of the day I’m with my family, we’re all safe and healthy, and with my favorite foods and a good movie, we put a cap on what was three glorious years and a prelude to this gift we call adulthood.

Jenni Todd- Boston University 

About a decade ago, I watched my brother unwittingly graduate with a degree in finance, only to be greeted by economic collapse — bubbles bursting, markets crashing, banks declaring bankruptcy. I was living in his old bedroom when he moved back into the basement of our childhood home. With measured delicacy, my mother explained that it wasn’t what he’d planned on doing, but there weren’t other options, that sometimes moving forward looks like going backward. He was pretty depressed, and I was just old enough to feel for him and against him, cursing the luck that’d befallen him while swearing that I wouldn’t let something like this happen to me. 

Now, I’m graduating with a degree in 2020. It happens to be a journalism degree, but even my peers with “recession-proof” majors are struggling to kickstart their careers during the pandemic. I feel silly — for thinking I might be able to outwork the economic tides, for trying to learn something from my brother’s fate, for hoping for any of that at this moment. 

But when I think back on the years he spent with us, they start bleak and progress with a sort of unlucky luckiness. Our ten-year gap in age meant I was 8 when he moved out for undergrad. His return was the first time he was around enough and I was old enough for us to actually get to know each other. I love my brother, and I’m not sure we’d be as close as we are if not for that recession. I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be looking back on a decade from now, but neither did he, and I can only hope it’s another bit of unlucky luck.

Caroline King- Emerson College 

Although I graduated from Emerson College back in December, I was looking forward to celebrating commencement in May with my classmates. As a first-generation college student, commencement symbolized so much more than simply walking across a stage and I had spent years planning how it would feel and what it would look like. So even though commencement happened in my childhood home, and grad photos were in my backyard instead of the Boston Public Garden, this has made me realize just how much I have to be thankful for. I have a healthy family, a wonderful job, and still remain full of hope and excitement about what my next chapter holds! 

Megan Fantes- Boston University 

Hey there! My name is Megan, and I just graduated with my Master’s in Computer Science from Boston University. If you had told me six years ago, when I started college, that that is something I would say about myself, I would not have believed you. Back then I thought I was going to study International Relations and become the first female James Bond, and I had never heard of “computer science.” But during my freshman year of college, I quickly realized I definitely did not want to study International Relations, I wanted to study Math instead. I eventually graduated with my Bachelor’s in Mathematics & Statistics. During that time I had to take a Computer Science course and I fell in love with it and decided I wanted to get a degree in that too.

Getting my Master’s degree has only made me love Computer Science and all of the problem solving it involves more, and I feel like I understand the world so much more now that I have finished both of my degrees. With the combination of my degrees, I plan to be a data scientist. I am obsessed with the world of data, and I want to help other people see what I see. Honestly, sometimes I get emotional about how much I love what I do and how proud I am to be a part of this field. I feel like I found my people in my Master’s program, and I am excited to go out into my career and help others understand the power of data.

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