As we welcome the month of May, we dive right into the season of celebration! Upon finishing my finals, I quickly made my way to Charleston, Raleigh and Chapel Hill to celebrate the accomplishments of my dearest friends as they worked incredibly hard the last four years to get to right where they are.
College of Charleston at The Citadel
College of Charleston’s very own brilliant physics major commissioned into the army through The Citadel’s ROTC program this past Friday. Ariane is one of my best friends from high school where we shared our frustration over AP Euro and enjoyed our senior privileges at The Fayetteville Academy. She has worked her tail off the last four years between exploring the intricacies of quantum mechanics and heading to early morning PT sessions at The Citadel while embracing the charm of Charleston. She also shared this accomplishment with her parents, both officers of the United States Army.
I can’t express just how happy and proud I am to have witnessed a dear friend of mine commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant into the United States Army. In addition to the ceremony, I got to learn so many different aspects of the military such as the meaning of the shoulder boards, the rankings and the pins on the uniform.
Interesting fact: The reason why they wear mismatching blues is because back in the late 1800s, the soldiers used to ride their horses onto the field without jackets and the pants would fade due to sunlight and dust. When it came to putting on their jackets, it would be two different shades of blue.
Oh and I was super excited to see this mean-muggin’ Citadel bulldog!
My sweet friend, Margaret, graduated from Meredith College on Saturday! Margaret also graduated with me from The Fayetteville Academy back in 2012 and I was so excited to head to Raleigh and see her in that maroon gown. Meredith has so many tight traditions and they shared it with all their loved ones at the end of their graduation ceremony. All the newly Meredith graduates formed a circle in the middle of Dorton Arena and then all the lights turned off. In the midst of the confused murmuring in the arena, all the women in maroon took out their mini lights and waved them as they sung their alma mater. The pride these MereCo grads have shared during their four years showed so radiantly on Saturday night.
To top off the night, I found this old but loving friend, Bailey, who was Meredith College Class of 2016 Class President! We’ve known each other ever since our days at Vanstory Hills Elementary School but it has been almost four years since I’ve seen this gal! A sweet reunion for the ages!
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
For the last four years, I’ve had the joy of experiencing the magic of Carolina through my two best friends, Priya and Sarah. I’d like to think they both accepted me as an honorary Tarheel. I come from a school where the entire student body consist of 6,000 people total so to witness the conferring of baccalaureate degrees of almost 4,000 students in the senior class alone is mind-boggling to me. However, the immense love the Tarheels have for this southern part of heaven radiated across Kenan Stadium and my heart fluttered when I heard the UNC Clef Hangers sing “Gone to Carolina in my Mind.” I mean, whose heart didn’t?
I left with a full heart because I got to see all my friends and former classmates graduate from a little town on a hill where they found their people, their passions and of course, themselves. To conclude the commencement, UNC’s chancellor, Carol Folt emphatically said to the UNC Class of 2016, “I want you all to take a mental picture right now and soak in this moment, you’ve been working towards this for many years now.”A mental picture of the never-ending Carolina blue graduation gowns under the Carolina blue sky was taken indeed.
If I could attend every college graduation and commissioning, I would. I love celebrating my friends’ accomplishments because it is something to be proud of. Plus, they’re all off to do remarkable things. I have friends who are off to pursue higher degrees in dentistry, medicine, law, business, veterinary, public health and education. I have peers who will be joining fantastic companies and organizations across the nation ranging from the United States Army to AIG to PWC to Good Morning America to Samaritan’s Purse. I have colleagues who will be teaching English in Cambodia, Thailand, Columbia and Ethiopia. I even have classmates, who are Campbell’s first football players to be drafted into the NFL, that are off to play for the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals come fall.
And to each of you, I say, congratulations on a job well done! Go change the world, become the best version of yourselves, remember to find joy in everything you do and always be kind.
P.S. I graduate from my beloved university, Campbell, in just five short days!