New alumna Kaitlyn looks back on her Fletcher experience

A hearty thanks and belated congratulations to Kaitlyn, one of Fletcher’s newest alumna, and a two-year veteran student blogger. She’s provided lots of eloquent insight, as well as a generous view of her own path through Fletcher, over the past few years in her series of posts. Her reflections upon graduation ably capture the special energy each class brings to Fletcher:

Well here we are, the end of academics and the beginning of a lifetime. I’m a few weeks post-graduation and already missing the fast-paced life of studying and working alongside my Fletcher classmates. As nice as it is to smell the sea breeze on Cape Cod again, which I’m going to savor before I leave it for city life in D.C., chats over WhatsApp just can’t quite make up for the witty banter, spirited debates, and long, thoughtful, late night discussions I had among my Fletcher family. The people at Fletcher were and are the kind of one-in-a-million sort of people I feel blessed to have met. Going into graduate school, I expected to find classmates who were incredibly bright, quick-witted, and hard working. I expected to find the kind of people who were looking out for the future of their country and their world and who wanted to put their talents towards ensuring its prosperity. I did find all of that and more among my peers at Fletcher, but what stands out, as I reflect on how much I already miss them, is their kindness.

My time at Fletcher has been the experience of a lifetime, but it has also been punctuated by the kinds of personal blows and stressors for which real life is unforgiving. My grandmother passed away a short time into my first year at Fletcher, my father went through a major surgery this year, and my grandfather had a medical emergency at my graduation. I am fortunate among my peers at Fletcher that my family live close enough that I could visit them during those trying moments, but the stress was no less acute. The last, only a few weeks ago, is still fresh in my mind, and has me reflecting on how grateful I was for those peers who were around me that day to help me. In each of those moments when real life gave me its worst, I was forever grateful for my Fletcher community, who were there to offer their kindness and support when I most needed it.

Fletcher people are the kind of people who will share notes with you when you have to miss class to give a eulogy. They’re the kind who will help you find humor when you most need it, and who’ll offer their support in whatever way they can, just to help a friend. They’re also the sort of people I have stayed up until three in the morning talking with, forgetting the time because of how much I enjoyed their company. They’re the best sort of people to share a meal with, whether it was potluck style in the Blakeley Hall common room, a vegan Fletcher feast, or 12 of us toasting Manischewitz on Friday nights at the Hillel Center. They freely give their knowledge, experience, kindness, and energy to everything they do and it has been refreshing and uplifting to have spent the last two years becoming friends with them.

So to my classmates, my friends, my Fletcher family: thank you, we did it, and I’m so excited to see what all of us do next.

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