I’ve never been a particularly emotional person. Traditions don’t bring a tear to my eye and goodbyes don’t require a whole box of tissues. What I am, however, is sentimental, and that’s exactly how graduation made me feel. Sentimental. At the risk of sounding overly cheesy, I remember my first visit to William & Mary after receiving my acceptance letter. With a spring in my step and a smile plastered across my face I day dreamed about all of the fabulous friends and magnificent memories I would make over the next years. Those day dreams didn’t even come close to the real thing. Attending William & Mary has been an amazing experience and I honestly couldn’t imagine going anywhere else. (And I mean that.) Sure, the classes seriously kick my *word I can’t say on the university’s website* but they were worth it. I’ve been challenged, I’ve been pushed and, most importantly, I’ve been proud.
When I first sat at my keyboard to write this post I though I would do a list style. “Katie’s Top Ten Memories” or “Twelve Things to Thank William & Mary For,” something like that. Then I realized, I can’t really write an article like that because I don’t have a list of the top ten greatest hits of college. This is going to sound sappy, rehearsed and, to be honest, a little fake but I promise you I mean every word of it. I’m thankful for each moment of college. For the nights I had a little too much fun, for the classes that I swear should have had “get your PhD” as a pre-req, and for the clubs that turned into families. Even though there have been some hard times throughout my college career, there have been an equal number of good times.
For those of you who have yet to begin the four year adventure that is William & Mary, allow me to offer you some advice. Don’t be afraid…of anything. Don’t be afraid to fail, to make friends, to lose friends, to travel abroad or to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. Don’t be afraid to show off a little (just remember to keep your ego smaller than the Wren Building steps) and to find yourself. College can be a serious struggle sometimes, but it’s all so incredibly worth it. This goes for all you current college students as well. Just because you’re already halfway through your college career doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be bold.
For those of you who just graduated, you shouldn’t be afraid either. Walking down the old bricks as we made our way to commencement (and I tried to not to trip over the wobbly bricks that are clearly not high heel friendly) I realized that for the first time in our lives, we’re completely behind the steering wheel. Just us. I don’t know about y’all, but that is TERRIFYING to me. Admittedly, I’m quite nosy, which means I love to know absolutely everything. Not knowing what’s in store for the future is pretty scary, but I’m taking my own advise. I’m going to be bold and unafraid.
Yesterday, I hung up my cap and gown in my closet, and I felt a little emotion. (Don’t worry, no tears. The only thing that will make me reach for a tissue is anything written by Shonda Rhimes.) Thinking back on all of the wonderful and unforgettable times I had at William & Mary makes it hard to say goodbye and continue on. I think Winnie the Pooh summed it up best when he said “How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
*Quote from Winnie the Pooh
**Picture via Imgur