An Ode To The Dining Hall

An Ode To The Dining Hall

Thank you for making freshman year what it was.
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Freshman year is full of a lot of fun times. From football games to spring parties, freshman year introduces you to some of the most fun environments you'll ever be in. However, if you had told me coming into freshman year that the dining hall would be one of those "fun environments," I would've laughed in your face. While I knew coming into college that I would be spending all of my time eating some pretty incredible "dining hall food," I never knew how much time I'd actually spend at the dining halls and how many memories I'd be making there.

The dining hall gave me not only some awesome food but also some awesome moments. Freshman year would not have been the same without it. So as the year is winding down to a close, I'd like to say "thank you."

Thank you for being a place for me to post up with my laptop and study (socialize) for hours on end. I honestly give you total credit for that 94 I got on my Spanish quiz. It probably would've been a 92 without the quiet, serene study environment you provided (at least, that's what I tell my mom it is like).

Thank you for your chocolate fudge cookies. There's no better pick-me-up than a moist, warm, chocolate-y cookie. That's all I have to say about that.

Thank you for playing some bomb music. There's nothing like interrupting a conversation by singing along to "Sk8r Boi" as it plays from from the dining hall speakers. And while at times your music choices were sub-par, I can honestly say that your Eagles and P!NK-filled playlists were sure to brighten my day.

Thank you for creating a community. It's crazy to see how close I've become to people purely because we have a lunch break at the same time. The dining hall is a gathering place -- a place where new friendships are started and old ones can grow. I look forward to going to the dining hall every day because I know who I will get to see there. There's nothing like sharing a meal with your good friends, and there's nothing like sharing a meal every day with your good friends. So, thank you for being that meeting place we all know and love.

As my year is coming to a close and I am preparing to say goodbye to everything freshman year gave me, I've realized that saying goodbye to the dining hall and everything it offered will be one of the toughest goodbyes. It gave me some great friendships, a fun study environment, and a few extra pounds that I can't complain about. So, thank you, dining hall, for making my average days not-so average. You will be missed dearly.

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Batter Up

Because someone needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat a woman.

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I have this memory from when I was younger,

I must have been six, maybe seven? An age

When you can remember, but not quite

Understand. I remember the landline

Ringing sometime in the middle

Of the night in my grandmother's small,

But adequate house. I had been sleeping,

Tucked under a shield of satin covers,

My grandmother next to me, blanketless,

And stiff, on the very edge of the queen mattress

Like she was anticipating some sort of disaster.

It wasn't the phone that pulled me from my sleep,

It was my grandmother's instant jerk, her eyes

Flipping open quicker than a light switch,

The mattress springing back up, adjusting

To the new lightness as she fled the room. My waking

Was soft like a song. Slow and humane.

My eyes adjusting to the dark, my ears absorbing the ringing,

My mind reminding itself that I was at my grandmother's house.


Then, the ringing stopped;

Abrupt, like a disarmed fire alarm.

It was just a drill, I thought.

But, then I heard the mumbling

From behind the door, panicked mumbling.

Rapid, like gunfire. My grandmother's Rs

Rolling down the hallway and under the door crack.

She only spoke Spanish when she was angry.


The call ended, my grandmother returned to the room,

Wrapped me in a blanket, and carried me into the night.

She buckled me into the backseat of her Toyota and said,

We were going to Auntie Mandy's house because someone

Needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat

A woman.


When we arrived at the house, we found the front door

Wide open, the house lights spilling out onto the porch.

A truck, I had seen once before, was parked a foot away

From the front door, aggressive. The truck had trampled

Over the dandelions and daisies, which lay wounded

In the front yard. A scene that begged for investigation.


My grandmother told me to stay put in my seat.

I watched as she walked to the back of the car, her normally pretty

Face turned straight, looked masculine. I watched as she pulled

Something wooden out of her trunk, then in her feline walk,

Approached the house. She turned to me, and I saw the

Baseball bat, immense in her female hands.


I slouched in my seat, the window above my head.

I never saw her go into the house.


I don't remember how long I sat,

Until the red and blue lights came.

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