President’s Weekly Messages to Students

I did a thing...
I did a thing

Friday, January 7, 2022 

Dear KCC Students,

I did a thing last Saturday.  For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to become a part of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club by taking a plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day.  So I registered, made my donation (which will help to support local businesses as well as educational, environmental and other kinds of programs), ordered a wet suit, counted down the days, and prayed that I would still have the nerve and the courage to follow through with it. 

It was raining when I woke up on New Year’s Day, and even though it was not that cold, I knew the water would be. As I walked on the Coney Island boardwalk towards the starting point, my anxiety turned into anticipation and then into excitement.   It was hard not to be excited when you saw the crowds of people laughing, talking and wishing each other Happy New Year as they stripped down to their swimsuits, swim trunks, and costumes to get ready to take the plunge.   

When it was time, everyone started running towards the water, shouting and screaming.   Most people jumped right in with no hesitation and were in and out in the time it took me to walk to the water.  Not me though, I walked slowly. I eased my way in because even with the wet suit on I could still feel the coldness of the water.  I moved further in, by this time the water was up to my knees, and I was having second thoughts when out of nowhere a guy appeared next to me and said, “you can do this”.  He started to count down “5, 4” and I joined him, “3, 2, 1” and I took the plunge! And just like that I was in, in the Atlantic Ocean, on New Year’s Day, cold, excited, and proud.  I did it. 

I know you are thinking, what does any of this have to do with you.  The answer is everything.

Like taking a plunge in the Atlantic on New Year’s Day and becoming a part of the Polar Bear Club, many of you have longed to earn your degree and become a college graduate.  Even though you may have taken a different path to get here, you are all on a mission to earn your college degree.   I am proud that you were brave enough to take the plunge into college. Like the guy who told me I could do it, we know you can do it too.  And we know you will do it! I look forward to seeing you emerge  from your time at Kingsborough, with your degree completed, walking across the stage on commencement day to shake my hand and say “I did it!”. 

KCC students: Stay the course.  Register for classes.  If you need assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

You got this.

Stay safe.  Mask up. Maintain social distancing and remember you are able to get  a free COVID PCR test at any of 19 CUNY testing sites.  https://www.cuny.edu/coronavirus/cuny-covid-19-testing-site-locations/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=chancellorcuny

President Schrader