Graduation is a scary and difficult time. While it is exciting to be starting a new chapter in your life and moving forward in doing what you love, it can be overwhelmingly terrifying to leave the one place you became your own person and discovered yourself with the help of friends who helped make it your home away from home. For me, the hardest goodbye will be to the people who helped me do just that. PC '13, this one is for you.

Flashback to four years ago, all of us were in the same boat- a new school, new friends, new identity, and a fresh start. 18 years of having your life put in a direction for you, and suddenly it's you who gets to call the shots. We did anything we could to find a place where we could belong, to make our home. For us, it was recruitment that did just that. Of course, as freshmen, it was awkward conversations, tears at sisterhood retreats, long nights of studying, and helping out that girl you may not know in your house after she discovered the power of the fraternity punch at a party. It was clumsy, unexpected, and sometimes random, but those little moments came to form such great bonds between each and every one of us. No, we aren't all best friends hanging out every night, but we all have respect and care for each other. We have all cried together, partied together, laughed together, and threatened to key that prick's car who broke your heart together.

Four years really isn't that long of a time to get to know each other, yet, we each know each other better than anyone else. Living in the same house as 70+ other girls will do that I suppose. I mean, really, you can seriously find out a girl's personality after watching a season of The Bachelor together on Monday nights after chapter.

Now in our senior year and officially becoming alumnae members a week ago, our time together has almost come to an end. As I sit here with tears in my eyes as I write this, I think of all of the memories we've had together, and I've realized just how much you all have done for me. Sure I am thankful for the memories, laughs, and tears.... but it's the woman you have all helped me become that I am the most thankful for. All because of 37 women. 37 women is all it took to help build me to become a more confident individual with more respect for other opinions and lifestyles and to celebrate the diversities. 37 women to help me get through the hardest moments I have faced so far in my life, from loss, sickness, tragedies, and constant doubt. 37 women to teach me selfless acts are more rewarding than gold and people are worth standing up for. 37 women taught me to stand tall, face a challenge, be a leader, and never back down. 37 women helped me become a real strong women. College is the most challenging time of your life because it is when you must learn who you are as an individual, friend, daughter, sister, and young professional. It comes with so many tears and stressful nights, but it was all of you who helped me get through it all and call 223 S. Garfield home.

For all of that and so, so much more, I thank each and every one of you. Good luck in all your future endeavors PC'13 and as we all go about our separate ways in the upcoming days, always remember you are never alone.

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