And just like that I was standing on the field of Sanford Stadium. Wearing my cap and gown. Looking around and completely stunned and in shock at my current state in life….
Um what am I doing here? Where did 4 years of college go? Didn’t I move into my freshmen dorm yesterday?
But seriously, how the heck did I get here?
It was a whirlwind of emotions. Excitement, sheer joy, confusion, bliss, pride, humility, gratitude, more confusion and once again more gratitude.
My love for the University of Georgia is unlike anything else. It’s not a love for a single person but a love for a place, a city, a town, a people and a whole lot of memories.
Athens is a place that stirs my heart for greatness. It’s the place that challenged my thinking, pushed me to the limits, brought me the greatest joys and the greatest sorrows. In this town, I experienced the most triumphant moments and the most frustrating downfalls.
In this town, I grew up.
I grew intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and relationally. And WOW, am I grateful. I was immature and ridiculous at times, too hard on myself and too serious at other times. I made great decisions and poor decisions (although I usually tried to make good ones!) and at the end of the day, there isn’t a single moment that I regret or would take back.
Each and every day I spent in Athens was special.
Each day was a gift.
Each day taught me something new, and each day I am grateful for.
As I reflect on graduation day, only one word comes to mind: MAGICAL.
It was a perfect day filled with people I love, in a city I love, reflecting on memories I love and looking forward to a future that I am already falling in love with.
I spent the day wandering campus, filming my favorite moments, funny memories, quality stories, lessons learned and special spots on campus. I had a delicious dinner at Last Resort with my family, which then concluded with fabulous dessert and popping bottles of champagne with another favorite family :)
As we walked into the stadium and headed between the hedges onto the field, it really was surreal. The stadium was filled with crowds of proud parents, the stage was set, the sun was setting and I was surrounded by some of the most brilliant, kind, ambitious people I know. WOW. All I can say is Thank You!
Thank you University of Georgia for molding me into the woman I am today. Thank you for sharing your heart with me and forever holding a piece of mine. Thanks for the laughter and the tears. For the beauty and the pain and all the growth in between.
I will never forget the advice from a friend of mine’s mom. She said,” Don’t let the classroom get in the way of your learning.”
Thank you, University of Georgia, for not only giving me a stellar education, but for teaching me so much more outside the classroom than I ever expected.