How Do You Say Thank You?

How do you say thank you to a place that changed your life?

How do I possibly begin to list every reason why I'm going to miss this little village. How can I even express in words what this school has done for me?

One last time, let's give it the old college try.

When I came into college, I was nervous. Everyone usually is, but it actually shocks me looking back how nervous I was. I had fears I wouldn't make friends. I didn't know my roommate before coming here and that made me nervous. This was the furthest I'd ever been from home, and while 75 minutes down I-75 may seem like nothing now, back then it was as if I moved out of the country.

Pretty quickly I joined things. I pledged a sorority, I started singing in the Chapel Band every week and I made friends in my classes. Things were better, I was adjusting, and I was finding my place. I realized at the end of freshman year I didn't love my major, so I made a small move to the Marketing department heading into my sophomore year and everything was good.

Sophomore year came. Another new roommate. More apprehension. A new position in my sorority. More apprehension. But quickly things fell into place. I found a home in PRSSA, my roommate quite rapidly became my very best friend and sophomore year turned out to be the peak of my college career, until now (but we'll get to that.)

Junior year. Housing manager of a sorority house with 18 girls. Yep. A recipe for disaster, and believe me there were many. Overall, I would never trade this experience. I found my best friends in that house. We laughed and cried and made unforgettable memories and I'll forever be grateful for those women I spent every day with. Would highly recommend living with 17 of the dopest women you can find.

Guess that brings me to senior year. Where do I begin? Coming back from summer I literally hopped off of the plane from South Africa and drove to Ada. Even just being in Africa, the only place I'd rather be was in Ada. Senior year has been the most up and down year I've ever had. The highs were high, but the lows were lowwwww. But it has changed me more than any other year. I've learned the most about myself. What I love, how I deserve to be treated, my values, who I am and who I want to be. I've made the most incredible friends. I didn't know you could still be making best friends even in your last year of college, but here I am.

I thought sophomore year was my peak, but I'm only now realizing that maybe this is. Despite all the lows, I'm on a true high. Having something you're so unbelievably sad to leave is the best gift I could've ever asked for.

I still don't know how to say thank you. Summing up the absolute best and most transformative four years of my life into a single blog post is almost as difficult as finding the strength to leave this place.

I guess the best way to say thank you is to just say it: thank you.

Thank you for turning my home away from home into just my home. Thank you to every single person who had a hand in my college career. Every professor who believed and supported me. Every friend who has ever seen me cry, studied with me, procrastinated with me, made me laugh or even just shared a drink with me. I didn't know a little town of 5,000 could change me as much as it did, but good god am I grateful it did.


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