Graduation Day: To Those Who Got Me Here

Graduation Day: To Those Who Got Me Here

Just so you know, before I graduate...

It's crazy how quickly life passes. One minute, you're barely entering kindergarten. You're clinging to Mom's leg and are scared about whether or not she'll actually pick you up after school (she always did). The next minute, you're mere days away from your college graduation. Your cap is decorated and your gown is hung up in your closet, ready to be worn alongside several hundred other students who have gone on this journey with you.

But what we often don't realize is how the people around us are the reason we arrived at graduation. So this one goes out to the biggest cheerleaders in our lives: the people who got us to graduation

To Mom and Dad: Thank you for everything. You pushed me when I needed it and held my hand when I wasn't ready to let go. My opinion of you has changed for the better over the years and I wouldn't be where I am today without your constant love and support.

To my dearest roommates: You stayed with me through everything; dates that didn't work out, long nights, laughing so hard we cried, hosting Christmas parties, Welcome Weeks, and everything in between. Anybody who has lived with me and hasn't killed me deserves thanks, and you deserve that ten times over.

To the man who has my heart: I am better because of you. I have learned so much about myself and about life and love because I have had the privilege of having you in my life. You are extraordinary, and I pray that you never forget that.

To my best friends: You stuck it out with me. You have loved me when I was hardest to love and have celebrated with me when life was good. You stayed by my side through tears and laughter and hard decisions and funny moments we'll never forget. I don't know what I did to deserve you, but I'm glad I did it.

To the people I met along the way: Thank you for the lessons you have taught me. Whether it was to believe in myself or to not take everything so personally, each lesson from you made me better.

To the people who stood in the stands with me: We've cheered our hearts out. We've intimidated the competition beyond compare with nothing but our pure love and fierce loyalty to our school and our team. We will forever bleed purple, and we will forever throw our 'lopes up, and I can't thank you enough for letting me be part of that incredible camaraderie.

To the teachers who made a difference: Finding a teacher whose lessons stick with you is rare, and a teacher who is still invested in your life after so many years is even rarer, and I have had the privilege of both. Each of you has carved a special place in my heart and has shown me that teachers have the power to make all the difference in the world.

To those who will stand with me on graduation day: We have worked for this day for so many years. We have seen great teachers, bad teachers, hard projects, tests that made up 25% of our grade, all-nighters, homecomings, basketball games, and so many things in between, and we're finally here: the finish line. We made it here, and that's something no one can take away from us. In the wise words of Taylor Swift, "We are the Kings and the Queens. You traded your baseball cap for a crown. When they gave us our trophies, and we held them up for our town." This is our day, so breathe it in and make the most of it. Congratulations, class of 2017, we did it!!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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19 Baylor MUSTS Before You Graduate

You can't leave Waco before you do it!

I am (finally) starting my last semester at Baylor! I'm stressed, scared and anxious. However, I'm also excited, hopeful and ready! While I spend these last few months in Waco, I'm finally getting around to all of the things that I said I would do before I left.

From fountain hopping to Ms. Mei, here are the 19 things you have to do before you graduate from Baylor.

1. Fountain hopping.

This is a Baylor classic. Most of our fountains are shallow enough (or completely flat) to run through, so put on your best Baylor tee, Nike shorts, and Chacos and jump on in. This activity is best done with a few of your line camp or welcome week friends.

2. Tortilla tossing.

Yup, I'm starting with the most cliche activities I could think of. When you go to downtown Waco, be sure to check out the beautiful Waco suspension bridge. Next to it, you can see two giant pillars that used to carry a train track but are now used as targets for Baylor students who throw tortillas at them. If your tortilla lands on one of these pillars, you will marry someone you met at Baylor!

3. Take a class for fun.

This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. I decided to become a Great Texts minor because of my love for reading and classics, and I have loved every single class. It is a great way to explore your passions and develop them. Who knows, it may change your potential career path.

4. Climb the Alico building.

This building is one of the tallest in central Texas and is the tallest in Waco. Its picturesque, towering look begs to be climbed!

5. Go to Dr. Pepper Hour.

Free dessert! This is a great Baylor tradition that has been around almost as long as Baylor has. If you go ten times, you get a free mug and your name goes on the wall in the SUB for years to come.

6. Take a spontaneous trip to a big Texas city.

Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio are all 1-3 hours away. Take advantage of your proximity to major cities and travel! I can't count the number of times my friends and I have decide to go on a trip the day we take it. Always worth the drive.

7. Enjoy a cookie from Ms. Mei.

These cookies are only available in Memorial Dining Hall. Ms. Mei is not only a kind, incredible person, but her cookies are just as warm and sweet. Pro-tip: fill a to-go box with them and save them for later.

8. Sit on Judge Baylor's lap.

This is one of those Baylor traditions that everyone does, but no one really knows why. Regardless, be sure to make your way in front of Waco Hall and take a picture with our founder.

9. Play in the water at the marina.

At the marina, Baylor students get unlimited FREE access to kayaks, canoes, and other things that would usually have a high hourly cost.

10. Attend Church Under the Bridge.

This church encompasses the primary reasons I went to Baylor: Christ and service. It is just what it sounds like — a Christian church service held underneath a bridge. The founders of the church wanted the relatively large homeless population to feel like they had a place they could go for service without sticking out. Free food is offered for those who need it, and the word of God flows through the community of worshipers that attend. Whether or not church is part of your weekly routine, this experience is bound to make you appreciate life in a new light.

11. Attend a show by the Baylor Theatre Department.

Baylor University has one of the most talented performing arts programs in the world. You will not regret attending a show here! If you have the opportunity, take the two-hour "theater appreciation" course to get free tickets.

12. Go check out the Bobo Center.

I know this may shock you, but Christian Texans are not the only people who go to Baylor. The Bobo Spiritual Life Center embraces the differences that make us unique by leading the cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue on campus. To get a free dinner and a first-hand look at the work that the Bobo is doing, attend "neighbor night" every Tuesday at 7 p.m.!

13. Go hammocking.

This is a college classic. Baylor has plenty of trees and beautiful places to relax, so grab a friend on a sunny day and relax in your hammock.

14. Befriend a professor.

Baylor professors are known for being kind, helpful and compassionate. I highly encourage you to attend the office hours of one or more of your professors to get to know them on a personal level. They will help you greatly in your career and your life if you give them the chance.

15. Befriend someone who is NOTHING like you.

This is for the ones who say "I have a Hindu friend (on Facebook), I'm cultured!" My response to you is this: closing yourself off from everyone who has grown up in different circumstances as you will only lessen your college (and life) experience. Some of the most incredible people I have ever met grew up in different countries, socioeconomic backgrounds, and religions than me. As humans, it is completely natural to hesitate with things that are different than what you're used to. However, once you let down that barrier you open your life to be more fulfilling. You don't know what you're missing!

16. Participate in the Bearathon.

This is known as "The toughest half [marathon] in Texas." If you like running you won't want to miss this! It is inexpensive to register and worth every penny. AND, for those of you who are hesitant, they also have a 5K!

17. Sit on a green and gold swing.

This is another Baylor tradition that involves marriage and has a questionable origin. If you sit on a swing with a special someone at least three times, you are destined to marry them. Even if you're not going for that "ring by spring," it's fun to do anyway.

18. Become a leader in a student organization.

I would not have found my Baylor family without joining Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity. Through this organization, I have met some of the most brilliant, driven and talented individuals at Baylor, and I haven't regretted a second of my membership or leadership. It has also exposed me to a vast network of alumni and networking opportunities that have helped me get a job!

19. Graduate!

Just do it.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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10 Emotions Of The First Week Of Your Last Semester, As Told By New Girl

Were all those gen. eds. really necessary?

For us seniors (supers count too), the holiday season is over, the final semester has arrived, and the countdown to graduation has begun. After, almost, a month of zero responsibility and stress, the cognitive dissonance is real, as you pack up your car (or hop on a plane) and head back to school for the last time.

The first week is like an emotional rollercoaster because, while you dread the dry lectures and homework, there's also the excitement of old friends, new friends, and the unforgettable memories you're about to make during the next four months.

Here are the 10 emotions of the first week of your last semester, as told by the characters of "New Girl."

1. Denial

Until you order your textbooks, homework isn't a thing. Class isn't a thing. College is not a thing. On the other hand, you also don't want to admit that you'll never feel this same sadness again.

2. Acceptance

There's no escaping it. This is your life. As they say, "suck it up buttercup."

3. Excitement

You're finally back with your favorite humans, and it seems like it's been decades. So much to catch up on, so many stories to exchange!

4. Regret

That 8 AM sounded great three months ago when you were willing to sell your soul in order to meet graduation requirements. Now? Not so much.

5. Determination

You WILL make it through the purgatory that is 8 AM classes and walking to class in the rain because warm weather and graduation are on the other side. Not to mention, your GPA is resting precariously on that philosophy class you put off until now.

6. Frustration

Excuse me, professor. I know you did not just start the first lecture on the first day of class. Does "syllabus day" mean nothing to you?

7. Sadness

While you refuse to listen to anyone who tells you "these are the best four years of your life," you know there's nothing that will ever replicate college, and you're not sure you're ready to move on.

8. Fear

Adulthood, independence, supporting yourself, and student loans begin in a matter of months.

9. Uncertainty

Has analyzing Shakespeare, achieving a 7-minute mile, and writing essays on why the chair doesn't actually exist prepared you for the real world? Maybe since the "real world" is a product of your subconscious, it doesn't matter anyway...

10. Anticipation

Regardless of the emotional rollercoaster that is the first week of your last semester, you're still super pumped and, deep down, very much ready to move on to the next phase of life. Because, let's be honest, you know you're gonna kick a*s post-grad.

Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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