An open letter to Ivy Hall and my Ivy League

An open letter to Ivy Hall and my Ivy League

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Typically, the college experience is a time of first occurrences. For many, it is the first time they are off on their own, away from their parents. It is a time of maturing, and a time of finding oneself. Most incoming college students don't realize how much their surrounding environments, whether it be a roommate, living arrangement, or friend group; may influence their college experience. Unfortunately, when you think of college, you don't exactly think of luxurious living quarters and extravagant amenities. You do, however, think of cramped dorm rooms, community bathrooms, and poor food options. Though these undesirable aspects are almost inevitable, it does not mean that your entire college experience will be completely unpleasant.



Four semesters, seven roommates and a pseudo roommate into my college career, I was fortunate enough to find the surrounding environment that would get me through one of the most trying years of my education. I was fortunate enough to find my Ivy League. My junior year of college, I moved into a new apartment - Ivy Hall, apartment 5103. It was a relatively nice apartment for a college campus; four individual bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen with a dishwasher, and a living room equipped with a couch, a coffee table and two armchairs. Sure, it wasn't the five star living I was hoping for, but it was much nicer than the dorms I had lived in previously. This apartment, however, was more than just a place to sleep at night. This apartment quickly became my home, and its residents my family.



My first roommate, Carson, really was something special. You would never guess that he and I had only known each other for a few months when we moved in together; our friendship seemed centuries old. Just months into our friendship, we were going on vacations together and attending each other's family parties. We had that sort of "I'm poor right now, so you buy lunch today" relationship, which was also very "I bought this because it reminded me of you." From the very first day we met, he went above and beyond, doing things for me that my long-time friends didn't even do. Whether it was a quick pick-me-up during a late night study session, or a little drive to get my mind off of things, he was always there to catch me when I was falling. As far as friends go, Carson was my soulmate. He is the definition of a true friend. The list that I could thank him for is endless and I am forever grateful that he walked into my life.



My second roommate, Jess, was the "college mom" that our apartment so desperately needed. She was always there with a helping hand and some motherly advice to get us through whatever was troubling us that day. Throughout our time together, Jess helped me with everything from resumes, to boy problems, to making sure I was eating a healthy meal when my schedule made me forget to do it on my own. In our apartment, the phrase "I'm sorry I'm trash, I'll do it later" was beyond overused, but Jess always made sure it got done. I know I speak for the entire Ivy League when I say that, all of those times that she replaced the paper towels, loaded the dishwasher, or took out the trash did not go unnoticed. Jess truly was the backbone that kept our little family together, and we couldn't have done any of it without her.



My third roommate, Rocio, was the sister that I never wanted, but was so lucky to have found. When we first moved in together, we did not know each other very well, but I was optimistic about the future of our friendship. It wasn't long before we had formed a bond like no other. Rocio had become the person that I knew I could be myself around, and the part of my day that I looked forward to. When I had my life together, she was always ready for a study session. When I was trying to get my life together, she was always ready with a motivational speech (or Netflix, Chipotle and a nap). I could always count on her to walk me to class (usually because we were both running late), grab coffee with me between classes, or stay up with me all night listening to me complain about how I've ruined my own life by partying instead of doing my homework. I'm so thankful to have had her as a roommate, a friend, and a role model.



Now, the semester has come to an end and so has our time living together. They say that, for some, college is a home away from home; I never expected mine to come with a soulmate, a second mother and the sister that I never knew I needed. I can never thank you all enough for being my family and keeping me sane these past few months. Just know that, without you guys, my life is in shambles and I miss the Ivy League more than you could know. Each one of you has impacted my life in a way that I couldn't even begin to explain, so here is my long overdue thank you for literally everything. I love you all and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us.



Sometimes, life sends you blessings in disguise. I've learned that, when this happens, you don't question it- you simply accept that you were lucky enough to have them and do your very best to share the wealth. The Ivy League was my blessing. There's no one else I'd rather have shared cramped dorm rooms, poorly flushing toilets and chip crumb covered carpets with. If you don't have one yet, go out and find yourself your very own Ivy League- you don't know what you're missing.

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To The Grandmothers Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

Sincerely, the loving granddaughters.
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The relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter is something so uniquely special and something to be treasured forever.

Your grandma loves you like you are her own daughter and adores you no matter what. She is the first person you run to when you have a problem with your parents and she never fails to grace you with the most comforting advice.

She may be guilty of spoiling you rotten but still makes sure to stress the importance of being thankful and kind.

Your grandma has most likely lived through every obstacle that you are experiencing now as a young adult and always knows just exactly what to say.

She grew up in another generation where things were probably much harder for young women than they are today.

She is a walking example of perseverance, strength, and grace who you aim to be like someday.

Your grandma teaches you the lessons she had to learn the hard way because she does not want you to make the same mistakes she did when she was growing up.

Her hugs never fail to warm your heart, her smile never fails to make you smile, and her laugh never fails to brighten your day.

She inspires you to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

You only hope that one day you can be the mother and grandmother she was to you.

A piece of girl’s heart will forever belong to her grandma that no one could ever replace.

She is the matriarch of your family and is the glue that holds you all together.

Grandmothers play such an important role in helping their granddaughters to grow into strong, intelligent, kind women.

She teaches you how to love and how to forgive.

Without the unconditional love of your grandma, you would not be the woman you are today.

To all of the grandmothers out there, thank you for being you.

Sincerely,

the loving granddaughters

Cover Image Credit: Carlie Konuch

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I Begged For Love

And still never got it.
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I remember when I was in Kindergarten and I was up at around midnight, searching for something. As I found myself in the bathroom, I opened drawers looking for anything and my eyes stumbled upon a pair of scissors. I went back into my room and shaved my thirteen-inch hair to nothingness.

I remember my father coming into my room the next morning and beating me senseless until I told him why I cut my hair. I did this because my father never liked his daughters (he was/is sexist), so I thought that if I cut my hair to look like a boy then maybe he would love me. When I told him this, he started exiting the room and he told me, "You're such a dumb bitch." I was six.

There was a single time during a long car ride where my mother and father made me place my hands on the top of my head for hours until we got home. As I did this without fighting, I asked my mother when we got home if I had been good that day; I was begging for some kind of approval. She completely ignored me, brushed me off, and forced me to do things for her for the rest of the night. I was nine.

My father called me "thing" for as many years as I can remember. Instead of standing up and saying anything I just got up and took it. I took the name-calling to the point where I thought that if I were to stand up and say something, I would get thrown out. So I succumbed to his pressures.

When I told my father about the sexual abuse I'd experienced from my oldest brother, he told me that I should tell CPS so that I could be taken away because he didn't even want me. He looked at me and my younger sister in the eyes and told us, "I need the money from him more than I need you." My hurt was completely disregarded and I, as a young teen, was shown my true worthlessness.

My father worked third shift, meaning I only ever saw him on the weekends if I chose to stay home. I remember writing pages and pages of different letters to him, telling him that I'd do anything to make things feel more peaceful. I remember committing to doing insane things in these letters that no young girls should ever have to do. I gave more of my self than I ever should have, and I still was shaken off like I was nothing.

I've begged for love since the minute I remember any single thing. I have asked and asked for my mother and father to care about my existence, and when I realized that they didn't, I stopped caring about my existence too. I've done anything I can to ask someone to love me and the reality is that maybe I am simply unworthy of love.

I wake up every single morning without the feeling that me waking up mattered at all. I sit in classes, work jobs, sit with people and survey the area realizing that there is nothing at all I can do to be loved even though there are so many around me that are loved by at least someone.

I have begged for love in every way I could have imagined. I still never got it. But I'm done begging, so I guess I'm just never going to get it.

Some people aren't meant to be loved, I guess.

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