I have cross-collaborated on a CNN article, which can be seen here.
I have also published a few articles on ThoughtCatalog.com, which can be seen here.
To Stillwater, With Love…
I’m not a particularly romantic or emotional person, but for you I’ll make an exception. You’ve been a major part of my life for six years now, and our relationship is slowly coming to a beautiful but swift end. I’m not sure if I’m ready, Stillwater. There are so many things about you I am thankful for, and so many things I am going to miss.
If you didn’t know- Stillwater is the most magical land in all of Oklahoma. It has a certain kind of charm to it that no other town can quite compare to. It builds you up when you are weak, makes you happy when you are sad, and provides you with the greatest community you will probably ever know.
When I moved here six years ago as a baby freshman, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured it would be just college, a quick four years and I’d be out and never look back. Sure, I’d make some good memories and meet some nice people, but I never thought I would become deeply rooted in an incredible community that will always be home to me in some way. I could live a thousand lifetimes and never be able to properly express my gratitude for the things I’ve learned here and the people who have changed me.
Stillwater is the kind of place that will take care of anybody, no questions asked. You’re down on money? Your neighbor will probably lend you some. You need a job? Someone will help you fine-tune your resume or get you an in at the cool coffee shop in town. Someone you love has passed? The entire Stillwater community is going to hold you while you cry and help you wipe your tears. People here are made of something different, we have gumption- and don’t you ever forget it. We are Stillwater Strong, and we will always be that way.
I will miss the little things. I’ll miss nice days sitting outside at Stonewall (sorry mom). I’ll miss lazy days at Aspen drinking more coffee than is probably healthy and catching up with friends. I’ll miss staring up at the library or the Union and wondering how in the world someone could make orange brick look so gorgeous. I’ll miss every face I pass being a smiling one, every new person I meet asking how I am and really meaning it.
I know there are other towns and other states that are wonderful, I know that. But Stillwater is something different and everyone who has given it a chance has learned that. It will change you, if you let it. So to everyone who is exiting Stillwater with me in May, I ask that we give these last few months the best that we have. Let’s enjoy ourselves; go hang under the Palms or chill at the Wall or something- but let’s give some love back to the town that has given us all that it could.
So Stillwater, I thank you, and I hope when I leave I can make you proud.
As always, Go Pokes.
College has been a whirlwind. There are days when jubilance is overflowing and life seems full of possibilities, friends are abundant and options are unlimited. However, there are also times, often months, where life is not so great. Hard times happen, mistakes are made and lessons are learned. Recently, it has been the latter. Personally speaking, the last few months have been a time of deep growth and learning to love myself again.
Last month two incredible seniors in my sorority had the idea to put out a confidence worksheet. Women in my chapter filled out nice things about each other, and then they were printed off on cute little sheets and sent out. It was meant to be a sweet gesture during finals week to bring up spirits and remind us that we are loved. For me, it was more than that.
I walked to my mailbox at the Kappa Delta house after a particularly long shift at work, and came to find it empty. There were sheets for other women, but not for me. Sadly, I wasn’t surprised. What would anyone have to say about me? What have I even done in the past few months that weren’t self-serving? I didn’t believe anyone would have anything nice to say because I didn’t think I was worth the sentiments.
When I arrived home, I was proven wrong. My roommate had picked up my sheet, and to my surprise it was filled to the bottom with loads of comments, so I began to read.
What I found was more than I bargained for. Notes from people who didn’t even know me who had taken notice of the person I am and took the time to say something nice about it. I was honestly astounded at the thoughtfulness my sisters had put into these comments. Some were funny and some were inspired, but all brought a smile to my face and (almost) tears to my eyes.
Four years are swiftly coming to an end, and with it the end of my career as a collegiate Kappa Delta. Parts of me were happy about this, because I was ready for the next thing. I had done my time, I was excited for a break and I was okay with leaving for a time without looking back. I wasn’t leaving with a bad taste in my mouth, just a hunger for the next great adventure.
Now, I am reminded why I was so obsessed with KD in the first place. There are no boundaries within that chapter. People will love you for a number of reasons and they will love you where you are. I didn’t believe myself worthy of those feelings until tonight. Though I haven’t done much for these women this year, they still took the time to do something for me. That’s what unconditional love is. Despite what others can provide for you, you love them for who they are and where they are.
They reminded me of the fact that at some point, I had made an impact on some of them. They reminded me of the fact that at all times; they had an impact on me. I can truly say that without KD, without these women, I would not be who I am. I would not be able to overcome problems with the confidence they have given me.
I am forever thankful for these women who will constantly push me to be better. They will not give up on me. They will remind me of whom I am when even I don’t know. They will love me for my flaws and my weaknesses, my strengths and my attributes.
I thank them for the reminder tonight, and one I can look back on in future years. I thank them for the past four years, and the ones surely to come in the future. I thank them for an unconditional love I will try to emulate to others, and I thank them for being the most incredible group of people I have ever had the chance to encounter.
Go confidently, go courageously, and go KD.