12 Days: 7 Hours: 25 Minutes: 20 Seconds
12 Days, 7 Hours, 25 Minutes and 20 seconds later I will be attending my very last graduation. The first thing that pops into my head is the song “I’m so excited” by The Pointer Sisters from the 80’s and 90’s but at the same time I sit here in complete and utter shock. Graduation? Bachelors degree? Full-Time employment? Adulting? Crazy.
It almost seems to be that at the earliest times in the morning (3am), my mind seems to race. Although, there could be a million things I could be doing like sleeping for one.. I decide to sit here and reflect. There are only a couple of things standing before me and graduation: 3 papers, 3 exams, 2 assignments and one more lecture. All of which will be completed within 2 days. Wow.
Wednesday is the last day of classes and while bittersweet, devastating. Is it weird to think that will be my last ever class at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign? Is it weird to think after I graduate this time, I will never have to graduate again? Like ever? School seems as if it is constantly something we have to do but when you finally “grow up” and finish school, it just comes to a halting stop. I’m not so sure anything could have prepared me for this though.
I do not think it has ever hit me as hard as it is hitting me right now. I am not so sure I can even formulate words. However, I know Monday at chapter I will be needing to bring a giant box of tissues because of how many happy tears I will probably shed. Thank you to all of my Phi Mu sisters for being you and giving me a place to officially call home. More importantly, you all gave me life. You made me think about things in a different light and you gave me a chance to be who I was destined to be. I could not be more proud than to have been your historian this year. You’re all a vibrant and beautiful group and I am so grateful for the unconditional love and support.
Friendships. Tons of friendships have been formed. Tons of memories have been made. My life has been transformed here. I have finally found somewhere to call my home only for it to change again in 12 very short days. Sometimes I wonder where in the world I will end up and how will I get there? Although, I never knew I would end up at Illinois and I am grateful each and every day that I am here. I am even more grateful for my best friends that I have met along the way that I know I will always carry with me:
Becca Keeley, the most kind hearted beautiful soul I have ever met. She is someone who is so selfless and wears her heart on her sleeve. She is someone who I admire for her passion and love for things. She is constantly showing off her beautiful smile and shinning light into my days. She has in fact gotten quite confused with the amount of snapchats I take of her but she is witty and extremely funny. She also has a killer laugh and is someone who has never left my side since the day I met her. Sometimes it’s not about how long you have known someone but how long they have been by your side. Becca, you are an amazing best friend and I am so glad I met you. You have been such an inspiration in my life and are always thinking positively for and with me. Since I met you in Phi Mu, I cannot remember a single day where we have not hung out. Whether it be constant shopping trips, experiencing slim chickens, eating Azzip, road tripping home, venting sessions, homework dates, chill days on the quad, dance parties and or late night 57 runs, you are someone who I am so very grateful for. You will forever be my best friend and don’t worry, I will of course let you plan my baby shower when the time comes. 🙂
Michael Lang, seriously, thank you for being you. The most influential and motivating person I have ever met. If I explained him as encouraging that might just be an understatement. Someone who is passionate and selfless and takes care of me when I need him the most while constantly putting a smile on my face. Michael has been my rock since day one and has never left my side, thankfully. Even when he has his own things to worry about he is still coming in clutch. My favorite moments are the inspiring late night “life talks” which turn into venting sessions. We have truly gotten to know each other more than I have anyone else at this university. I am so grateful for his words and the kind of support he provides to me. Michael is someone who is the definition of a best friend and he gets me better than anyone else seems to. He understands who I am and is basically my walking calendar. While being one of my biggest support systems, he has managed to work with me on the ITA team, attend a regional conference with me, introduce me to a new way of thinking, attend late night Steak and Shake runs, Popeyes, attend my phi mu formal and be there the day I graduate. He even let me teach him how to cook. Sometimes he might even consider himself, “not just a regular student because he does things no other person at this university does. The problem with being important, dependable and impressive is that I have to be those things all the time.” Michael, of course, you’re all of those things and more but that was one hilarious night. Some of my best memories spent with Michael will never be forgotten. He knows everything there is to know about me while loving and accepting all things Sara: buffalo dip, tiffany blue, sparkles and Carrie Underwood. He is the definition of a true friend and more importantly, a life long friend. Don’t worry, I don’t think you could ever stay on the “shitlist” forever. 🙂
Heather Jarvis, someone who is kind hearted and a great friend. She is beautiful inside and out and is one of the most creative friends I have. Heather has been the realest friend I have and is always there for me when I need her. She never fails to put a smile on my face throughout her sarcasm even when sometimes I do not understand. Heather also shares the love of Azzip with me which instantly is a best friend check list item. Since knowing Heather, she has brought so many great memories into my life. Whether it be late night red box runs with dunkin’ donuts or whether it be sharing an umbrella in the rain, venting sessions, re-doing our nails, slim chicken dates, homework dates and or times where we just want to lay on the floor. Heather is extremely hard working and someone who constantly impresses me. She works for the things she want’s and appreciates everything. Heather has taught me how to be a better friend and taught me how to take a chill pill when necessary. She keeps me grounded and keeps me laughing. No matter how much she may laugh at me, I know Heather will always be one of my best friends. 🙂
Jaclyn Kaminski, someone who has been able to put up with me for the past two years. Someone who is constantly studying and bettering herself. Jaclyn, thank you for being my roommate. Thank you for being my go-to person when I transferred here and showing me everything there was to know about this university. Thank you for opening your arms when I needed it the most and for always eating my leftovers. You constantly tell me my food is amazing and I appreciate you so very much. You are what I had always hoped for in a roommate; clean and tidy. Someone who is respectful yet knows how to have a good time. When I graduate, I am not so sure how I am supposed to live next year. We have had so many fair shares of ups and downs but you are where it all started for me. My first friend on this campus and the person who was there for me with all of my darkest secrets and long nights. You were there for me at 2am when I needed soup because I was extremely sick and you were there for me after I failed my first exam while also needing serious help with spanish. You also let me sleep in your twin bed with you because I had an exam the next morning and was no way going to sleep with our terrible roommates at Illini Tower. You also took me to my first Illini Hockey & Football game where I learned all of our spirit and school songs. We went on a road trip to Michigan, attended a barn dance and even worked out on the quad while attempting to walk the entire campus. You were there when I celebrated my 21st birthday, wanted to go to chilis and even there when I had my first drink. More importantly, thank you for always being up for a dance party. Listening to Carrie Underwood and belting at the top of my lungs may never be the same again without you. I know you will always have a special place in my heart because you have become someone very close to my heart. Thank you for being the best friend you could have been. You will always be my momma squirrel. 🙂
Without the 4 of you, my college experience would have never been as great. As we wrap up our final week together, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you so very much for being each and every one of you and thank you for believing in me and laughing with me even at my worst of times. Thank you for being a shoulder to lean on and a helping hand. Thank you for all of your encouraging words and thoughtful gestures. I could not have done this without any of you. You are my experience and you are what I will remember most about this university. Not the beautiful architecture, not the amount of high energy squirrels and most certainly not my classes. Each and every one of you has seriously impacted my life for the better and I cannot wait to see where each and every one of you goes.
Michael, I know you will end up motivating a million more people than you already have. That smile of yours is killer. I have high hopes for you to become that motivational speaker you have always dreamed of becoming and to make millions doing so. I am not so sure how you manage to teach valuable lessons, inspire others 24/7, or even sleep but you are the epiphany of greatness. You will succeed with endless opportunity and continue to make me extremely proud. No matter what you are doing, you will be changing lives and inspiring others to be greater than they had ever thought they could be. You are one of those friends everyone hopes to find when they go to college. You are extremely genuine and one of the most important people I needed to meet in my life. However, Michael, always remember: you matter and you matter to me. #lifecoach2017
Becca, I know you will become the most loving and cutest teacher ever. Although, only a freshman you seem as if you are graduating with me. You are extremely mature and always have your head held high. I admire you for your strength. I know your classroom children will love you and appreciate you like you have never been appreciated before. I know they will change your life and make you think in many more ways than you currently do. I know you will succeed and eventually open up your own day care where children only dream of going. Your passionate heart and sweet gestures make you who you are and for that, I am extremely grateful to call you my best friend. You make me proud every single day.
Heather, I know you will also end up being an amazing teacher and someone who your children love. You will make such memories while looking super cute and trendy with your old navy outfits that you love so much. You will succeed and find that dream of making more than the average teacher because you are worth that much more. You are a hard worker who does not take no for an answer and you will be the definition of success. I hope you enjoy your senior year and truly take it all in. You will do great things and I cannot wait to be there during every step of the way.
Jaclyn, I know you will do amazing this summer at your internship. I am so proud of all you have accomplished thus far and cannot wait to see what your future has in store for you. You are a hard worker and someone who destines for greatness. I know if you put your head and heart together, you will be powerful in the business world. Even though you refuse social media, I still love you anyways. Never forget to keep your head up and continue doing you. Nobody can hold you back and your opportunities are endless. Keep making me proud little one, you’re quite impressive. Oh, thanks for also teaching me how to create a resume, you’re the best.
As the days fly by this week, know how much I value each and every one of you. Know how much you have impacted my life and how much I am inspired by you. This will not be an easy transition but with you by my side, I know I am capable. As for Becca, Heather and Jaclyn, I cannot wait to come back and visit you at this beautiful campus because we will have a lit time. Just make sure you have a comfy couch.. I am also extremely grateful to have you as my sisters and for the incredible bond we share in Phi Mu. Michael, stay gold pony boy, I will see you on the other side.
As emotional as this has been to turn my emotions into words, know that I love you all way more than I could ever write about. My heart literally hurts to think about the “end” of my college career but I am extremely happy to know that together we will all be moving forward with our new experiences. Sending lots of love & tiffany blue your way. You will always be in my heart.