It’s official, I’m a college graduate!
Four years of what have thus far been the greatest time in my life are over and I can’t believe it! It’s taken me a week to stop crying both happy and sad tears, collecting graduation cards and gifts, and much to my parents joy, unpacking all of my things, to take the time to sit down and write this post.
With my English degree in hand and in my last post on “The Lauren Line: where Lauren, London, and Life collide,” here’s an open letter to the greatest University in all the world, my alma mater, Syracuse.
To the school “On the Hill,”
I remember the first day we met. It was a cold day in March of 2010 and I was not at all dressed in preparation for the weather. The forecast called for partly sunny skies and a unseasonably warm 59 degrees and in that moment I learned to never trust the Syracuse weather man. Following the U100 tour guide in the infamous orange and blue rugby, the wind was blowing and the clouds overhead threatened rain at a moment’s notice. Trees were bare as flowers had not yet bloomed and the grass was still recovering from the winter’s snow fall. But in the passing of each building, bench, and statue of significance, I walked through campus and fell in love with it anyway.
Since that day in March, I have never stopped feeling the way I did the very first time; not a snow storm, hot and sunny day, or rainy and windy afternoon could change that.
With each class in Newhouse, Biology in HBC and Life Sciences, early morning yoga in Ernie, Math 121 recitation in Carnegie, Sport Management class in Whitman, African American studies in Sims, Human Sex in Grant Auditorium, and English class in Hall of Languages, I will forever miss hurrying through the quad with only moments to spare to make it to class on time saying hi and goodbye to the familiar faces I pass by.
You’ve given me much more than an academic education and for that I will always be sincerely grateful.
It’s the moments from freshman year that my friends and I spent in Ernie for hours eating breakfast, laughing, and talking on Saturday and Sunday afternoons that I’ll miss. Walking the stairs up to the Mount just for a visit. The bus driver who recited poetry at red lights early in the mornings when riders were barely awake enough to prepare yourself for class, the lunches in Faculty, the quick trips to Marshall Street, the nights in Bird, the little things that happened so routinely that I never noticed but amounted to making my college experience that has so quickly come and gone that much better.
Each football and basketball game, party (but not too many, I promise!), Juice Jam and Mayfest, sponsored event, and UU concert is cemented in my mind as some of the best times spent making memories that can never be replaced.
I had the chance to live for four months in strange place that much like you doesn’t have the best reputation for great weather but nonetheless captured my heart in the same way. I’ve walked through the streets of Belgium, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris, explored life beyond the confines of my comfort zone and each and every day learned something new about myself. I lived and loved London just much as I do you and that experience will infinitely be one of the best you’ve given to me.
In the last few weeks of school, I saw the sun rise from the top of the water tower (sorry DPS), took a photo with Otto, and crossed off all the things on the senior bucket list, I celebrated with some of the people that I have grown to care about the most because we, as members of the Class of 2015, made it to the finish line.
Thank you for four years of growth and strength, laughter and tears, stress and reassurance, friendship and sisterhood, love and heartbreak, self-discovery and ah-ha moments. An enormous amount of gratitude will forever and always pour from my heart when I think of you. Not a day will pass when I will not proudly bleed orange and shout that “Georgetown Still Sucks!” because with all that you’ve given me, I will be indebted to you for a lifetime.
Because we don’t believe in goodbyes, until we meet again, see you later.