An Open Letter To My Best Friend On Her Wedding Day

An Open Letter To My Best Friend On Her Wedding Day

Who would have thought you would be the first of us to get married, yet here I am writing an open letter to you on your big day.

My forever friend,

After months of waiting, days of planning , and hours of decorating it finally comes down to the single moment that you say "I Do". It is the day we have talked about for years even though we were hesitant to say if it would ever really happen. I can only say what a privilege it is to still be standing by your side as we both know that friendships don't always last. I am beyond happy that ours has.

I knew this day would come eventually and with the years that you have given me to prepare myself I still didn't think it would hit me as hard as it did. As I sat upstairs writing this letter I heard you have your first breakdown about whether or not the meticulously placed string of lights would stay on during your big day or if they would blow the fuse...again. Before I even got the chance to get up and reassure you that everything was going to be okay I noticed that someone had already taken on that role. That's when I realized I wouldn't be the person you ran to first when things went wrong or the only person you confided in when you weren't ready to confide in the world. As hard as that was to grasp it has eased my mind knowing that you have found a man you deemed worthy of filling those shoes I, oh so graciously, have stepped out of.

Knowing you, you have probably glanced in that mirror a million times, checking your lipstick, re-positioning that veil, and making sure those curls have fallen just right. Regardless, I want you to know there is not a single thing that you could do to look any more beautiful than you look right now. I am so proud of you and the love that you have set as an example for everyone around you.

I want you to know that no matter where life takes us, how far apart we are, or how hectic our daily routines become, you will always be my best friend.

I will always be a shoulder to cry on, a voice on the other end of the line to vent to, and the person you can rely on to give you terrible advice.

I will always be the Wine Wednesdays, Mexican Mondays, and lazy Sunday afternoons even though we don't do them near as often as we use to.

I will always be the person to laugh at all of your jokes even when others don't recognize your humor yet, the person to shamelessly pig out with you even though its 2am, and the person who will sing her heart out with you through the sunroof to some of our favorite throwbacks.

I will always be the person you can turn to who loves you just as much as the man standing at the end of that aisle waiting on you.

Those are my vows to you.

I am so proud of you, happy for you, and most importantly, thankful for you. So please, take a deep breath. Let me re-position those curls one last time, find your bouquet that you sat down yet again, and carry the back of your dress so it doesn't get dirty before your pictures. Let me do the rest of the worrying because you have done enough thus far.

Today is the day that you walk down that aisle into the arms of a man who views you as his entire world. I wish you a lifetime of happiness and two step dances in the kitchen because I know those are your favorite. I hope today is everything you have ever hoped for and more.

Congratulations one last time, Mrs. Bear.

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What It's Like To Take A Class With Professor Yuri Urbanovich

My experience taking a class with one of the best professors at UVA.

I have taken multiple classes with Professor Urbanovich during my time at UVA, and he is one of my favorite professors. Not only does he genuinely care about his students, but he also pushes them to learn more than humanly possible in the span of 50 minutes.

Seriously, I have learned more in his classes about Russian history and politics than I could have ever imagined. Professor Urbanovich’s thick Georgian accent and recalls of personal experiences also make his classes more personal, allowing students to understand the nation’s history and politics on a completely different level.

No wonder his classes fill up in a matter of hours when course registration begins!

The best part of Professor Urbanovich’s class is the many repeated quotes that one can uncover during his lectures. I am currently taking a J-term course with Professor Urbanovich and I have noticed that he says some things a lot throughout the course of his lectures, which makes them that much more interesting and fun.

If you’re interested in taking a course with Professor Urbanovich, which I highly recommend, be aware of the fact that Urbanovich will say the following things a lot.

1. My friends...

Professor Urbanovich does not refer to his students as “you guys” or “ my students,” but rather “my friends.” He often starts his lectures with “my friends,” making the class more intimate and welcoming. He welcomes various thoughts and opinions and treats his students in a way that makes it seem like you really are friends with the professor.

I have only taken two classes with him, but he always remembers who I am (a rare occurrence at a large university).

2. It is inconceivable

Professor Urbanovich often says that certain events or occurrences are “inconceivable”, and when he does, you know that the even matters a lot in terms of Russian history. It’s sort of like a marker for the things you should absolutely remember after any given lecture.

Earlier this week, one of his students quoted Urbanovich’s “inconceivable” phrase during a presentation, and the entire class, including the professor, started laughing. It just goes to show how welcoming and fun his classes can be.

3. I mean, can you imagine...

This is something along the lines of “inconceivable”, but it happens on rare occasions, usually when Professor Urbanovich is comparing the US to Russia and explaining how various events that occur in Russia would not be welcomed in the US or any other nation.

For example, the Pussy Riot fiasco that occurred in Russia was a stab at the religious values present in Russia, but we idolize it in the US. If something like this had happened in Israel or any other nation with strong religious values, we would most likely look at it in a different light. I mean, can you imagine…

4. I am so proud of you

Professor Urbanovich values education over number grades, often telling students that he is extremely proud of the work they’ve done and that they will go far in life. He does give exams, homework responses, and various projects, as any professor would, but he often makes students feel accomplished and successful after the completion of any assignment.

His comments on most essays are very constructive and provide guidance toward the development of better writing skills and the creation of more ambitious future projects.

5. Don't throw potatoes at my head

On the first day of my J-Term class, Professor Urbanovich compared our class to a large group of protestors as a joke, saying that we shouldn’t throw potatoes at his head if we did not agree with one of his statements.

Throughout the course of the past two weeks, he has repeated this phrase several times, especially during lectures that might have sparked opposition among students. Professor Urbanovich says this in a joking way of course, and it makes the class seem less intense than it is, almost as if we were not learning 1000+ years of Russian history in the span of 10 days.

Cover Image Credit: UVA

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21 Things To Do On Your 21st Birthday

You’re officially legal! It’s time to celebrate!

You’ve been waiting for this day for, well, 21 years! It’s one of the biggest milestone birthdays there is to look forward to. You probably never thought you’d make it to this point, but now that the day is here, there’s so much to do!

1. Drink!

2. Go out to dinner.

3. Go to the Casino.

4. Go on a winery tour.

5. Drink!

6. See a movie.

7. Drink!

8. Eat wine-flavored ice-cream!

9. Buy something for yourself.

10. Scratch lottery tickets.

11. Drink!

12. Go bowling.

13. Throw a party.

14. Go on a cruise.

15. Drink!

16. Dance.

17. Drink!

18. Go to a club with friends!

19. Celebrate with family.

20. Open presents.

21. Drink!

You’ve waited 21 years to legally have your first sip of alcohol, whether it be wine, beer or some fruity cocktail. The moral of this is it’s time to drink, so indulge yourself.

But drink responsibly!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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