As I attempt to write this through tear-clouded eyes, I am struck with far too many emotions to explain. We have had close to a week now to process the news that our senior year would be cut short due to the current epidemic we are all facing. And while I am incredibly thankful that my close friends and my dear family are safe, healthy, and taking precautions during this period of undoubted fear and uncertainty, these overwhelming feelings do not go away. I began the week fixated on the handfuls of "lasts" that we will never have - our last undergrad class, March Madness tournament, sorority function and even the commencement ceremony that we have worked so hard for four years to attend being postponed - I am now looking at the glass half full and thanking the University of Kentucky for all it has granted me in the last four years.
To my first ever friends,
When I moved to Lexington 4 short years ago I never in my wildest dream could have imagined the journey I was met with. Upon arriving at Haggin Hall on that warm August afternoon I met two of my closest friends to this day, Lilli and Amy. I don't think either of them will ever understand the magnitude of their impact on my college experience. I feel forever thankful for these two for shaping my college experience from the first day until the unexpected last. As excited as I was to start college I had no idea how I was going to handle being so far away from my family and friends. Kentucky was uncharted territory and I was terrified. But your friendship made me feel loved from the beginning and I wish we could share just one more 6:00 dinner at the 90 together. The walls of Haggin Hall hold too many stories and secrets to recount, and those are the days that I will forever hold close to my heart. So to Lilli and Amy thank you for being my first friends on a campus where I knew not a soul. Thank you for providing laughter and joy until the homesickness went away and Lexington felt like home too.
To my sisters...the Baddies,
Following those first few days on the University of Kentucky's campus, I joined Pi Beta Phi sorority and met some of the most incredible women this life will have to offer. Many are skeptical of the sorority recruitment process, and while greek life may have its ups and downs, I feel blessed for the friends I acquired through this chapter. Pi Beta Phi gave me 12 wonderful best friends, each teaching me lessons unique to themselves and providing me with memories and adventures to last a lifetime. We laughed until we cried too many times to count and turned any bad day into a great one (especially during this quarantine period). So to Lilli, Wethy, Rachel, Shelby, Olivia, Sophia, Ellie, Kelsey, Taylor, Danielle, Colleen, and Sylvia, I love you and cherish every sleepover at 409 Columbia and every karaoke night at the Saloon. Our Sophomore year gave us the chance to all live under the same roof, and all I can say was… that was a movie. Since then we've done it all. Every self-timer photo, every road trip, and every Pi Phi lunch and dinner will stay close to my heart forever. Thank you for the endless laughs, the pre-games, and the Bachelor Mondays that I learned to love. I'm sure when we come back in a few years the 307 couch will still mold to our bodies from the hours spent watching David Dobrik vlogs...and I can't wait to put that to the test.
To Club Terr,
Junior year shaped the college experience, as there was never a dull moment living at 228 Conn Terrace with 7 of my best friends ever. To Amy, Shelby, Sophia, Shannon, Olivia, Hannah Medley, and Wethy, I don't think I'll ever be able to watch New Girl without thinking of you. The comfort of coming home and knowing I would always be greeted by a smiling face on the couch was an unmatched feeling. I would relive the nights we spent around the table in the front room and the mornings rehearsing our Cardi B dance forever if I could...I'd even take the overflowing freezer and fridge or dirty dishes in the sink if it meant another night in that house with you all. I have never been more comfortable than within the four walls of Club Terr and I hope each of you knows how much I love you...even more than the wall of shame.
And finally, freshman year also brought me Jake, who I owe endless thanks to until the end of time. Thank you for being the best friend I could ask for and being my partner in crime no matter the adventure or situation. Thank you for seeing me through any hardships I had and holding my hand as I grew into a better version of myself. Everything in life is truly more fun when you are by my side and the last 4 years wouldn't mean nearly as much without you in them. You have taught me to care less about what others think and to live my life to the fullest, and you loved me every moment of the journey. So from that very first date party to our last few weeks together in this city, I can't imagine a moment you didn't make exponentially better. I know these four years were just the beginning and there is so much more around the corner for us to conquer.
So to the University of Kentucky, thank you for these people and these moments. For the struggles and the triumphs, the opportunities, and all of the fun. Leaving home four years ago I never imagined that Lexington would hold such a large piece of my heart and how hard it would be to even think about leaving. I can't believe the most amazing chapter of my life came to such an abrupt ending. It feels unfair that someone ripped the pen away as we were about to write the most incredible ending to what I consider a best selling story. But these four years were the best of my life and I value nothing more than these people and this city and all it has given me.
With so much love,