What I Learned This Year: Rider students look back on experiences outside the classroom: Anthony Baron

It’s hard to believe another year is over. The past 10 months have had a profound influence on me. During this time, I witnessed my family, community and country all undergo significant change. When leaving a graduation party last June, a friend’s mother turned to me and said “It feels like the end of an era,” something which I shrugged off at the time, but in the coming months, that phrase seemed to personify, if not codify, every thought I was going through.

I watched my country embrace “hope and change” as we began to endure what could  become one of the worst economic crises to affect our country since the Great Depression. I watched my home community, the state of Michigan, undergo tremendous fears and doubts over its industrial viability. Most profoundly and pronounced for my everyday life, however, was witnessing my father’s progression and regression through a brave battle with pancreatic cancer from July 4 until this past March. 

Throughout all of these experiences, I realized how important the words hope and change truly are. Change is something that is constant. Whether it is on a large or small scale, nothing will stay the same, and change will always be with us. At the same time, we all must be vigilant and maintain hope. We need to wake up every morning hoping that each new day will allow us to live more, love more, solve our problems and look toward a brighter future.

Anthony Baron is a sophomore piano and voice performance major. 

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