goodbye senior year – hello real world?

As I was cleaning through my older blog posts and photos this morning, I came across an old post from May 11, 2017: my first year experience. It feels like just yesterday that I was reflecting on my freshman year at Saint Joe’s, when my blog was titled “four floors up” and I was experiencing all of the “firsts” of college…and now I am virtually graduating — who would have thought?

Preparing for this next chapter in life has been pretty weird, especially while doing it all from the space of my home and virtually on my laptop. Finishing the semester out via online Zoom classes, prepping for graduation to be virtual, etc. — the list goes on of the changes that we have had to roll with the past couple of weeks.

Amid all of these unexpected changes and waves of emotion, I am feeling grateful for one constant within the change: my family and friends for helping this time still feel special. To my other 2020 grads — we’re truly all in this together and I think we all have the opportunity to make the best of it.

Immediately after hearing the news of the rest of the spring semester and graduation being held online, I started to draft a letter to SJU, my second home for the past 4. Here is that letter, and I hope it just begins to touch on and share the impact that Hawk Hill has had on me and who I have become.

dear sju, 

I am so thankful for everything you have given me over the past 4 years. Friendships, a community, classes, a new city to explore, and so much more. So much more than I could ever even begin to list off in words. When I look back at photos from freshman year, I know the girl I see but I also realize that I have grown so much since move in of 2016. Four years ago, I would have never imagined the extent to which I was able to explore a new city, meet such amazing people, or begin my own blog + beads. What started as a way to express myself and create something I love, turned into my own small business, something that friends and classmates truly loved and supported me in. I never say this enough but sju and the family I made on hawk hill really allowed me to become the most true and genuine version of myself, allowing me to just “be me.” (as my mom would say, “just be you mads!”…) and for that I am so thankful. Thank you for the best 4 sju, I will forever cherish my Hawk Hill memories: all of the laughs, tears, conversations, and of course, too many Saxbys london fogs to get me through. Truly looking forward to the day I can come back for a visit to spend a little more time at some of my favorite spots: Barb beach, Lapsley lane, Bronstein, Boland, the Saxbys hub, the Barnes Gardens and Greenhouse…the list goes on. Thank you sju.

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