Soon, I will be leaving and heading onward to my next adventure. It’s bittersweet, as I’m sure you understand. But I would be remiss if I did not properly thank you for the experiences we shared over the last four years, the lessons you taught me about school, work and life itself. Believe me, there’s a lot. Don’t let me get too misty-eyed.
It was here where I discovered what I want to do with my life. Well, I knew what field I wanted to pursue, but I wasn’t positive about exactly what I wanted to do. It didn’t take long for me to change my focus from journalism to public relations, and to add my second major in creative writing. Send your press release and public relations campaign assignments my way; I’ve got you covered.
Thank you for teaching me that taking 18 credit hours in one semester is a horrible idea, especially when 12 of the credits are writing-intensive classes. Writing upwards of six papers in a week was nightmarish, but having three in one week in subsequent semesters felt light.
And hey, good practice for graduate school next year.
In my four years, I had every kind of professor from one end of the spectrum to the other. From the “free spirit” literature professor to the one who put me to sleep when reading Byron’s Don Juan in class, from the PR professor who’s done everything under the sun, to the poetry scholar who blew my mind when discussing T.S. Eliot and Langston Hughes, and to the law professor who claimed it’s possible to make an A in his class…I had it all. Thank you for the variety.
Outside of class, you led me to clubs and organizations that were great and not so great. You led me to professional societies like PRSSA that taught me the importance of skilled networking and killer resumes. You also led me to other less functional organizations, which taught me how to be patient with difficult people and how to be diplomatic and dependable, even in the most infuriating circumstances. Though it was frustrating at the time, I’m glad I learned those lessons in college so I know how to handle similar situations later in my career. Thanks for that, Tech.
Thank you for teaching me how to live on my own, in a dorm and in an apartment. While I missed the convenience of living on campus and only needing to wake up an hour before my first class, living on my own “for real” in an apartment taught me responsibility and other necessary life skills, like how often to vacuum and to do laundry before I’m down to the last clean pair of underwear. I’m still working on being a good cook, though.
You introduced me to the liveliest college-town “nightlife,” and it’s going to be hard to top. I spent my fair share of Tuesday nights pretending I knew some answers at Sharkey’s trivia (and eating copious amounts of tater tots), more Friday happy hours sipping two-dollar doubles at Hokie House, and even more Saturday nights trying to decide if that last Long Island, Rail or Grateful Dead is a good idea. As many times as I’ve watched the bartenders at Top of the Stairs—TOTS for short—mix my drinks, I still couldn’t tell you exactly what’s in either of the latter two beverages. Probably some combination of vodka, rum, bourbon and gin, and I think a dash of tequila, topped off with some cranberry juice and lemonade, and something blue to swirl. But I don’t question; they’re delicious.
Did I mention that TOTS is ranked in the nation’s top college bars by USA Today? Yeah, it’s that awesome.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself on Saturdays next year when I don’t have tailgates and football games to attend. Thank you for showing me incredible school spirit and how to rock that maroon and orange like a pro. Now I just have to fight the urge to start jumping whenever I hear “Enter, Sandman” in a non-VT context.
Thank you for Sunday-morning visits to Carol Lee for fresh, warm donuts. Can you beat three donuts and a 16-ounce coffee for $3.25? And why would you ever pass on that? I’m sorry, Krispy Kreme, but I think I’m leaving you for Carol Lee.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, through all of the above, thank you for teaching me when to take myself seriously, and when to cut myself a break. There’s a time and place for being serious, and I don’t always know when to relax. In the last year and a half, I’ve let myself slow down much more than I used to; it makes a difference. Thank you for showing me that sometimes it’s okay to go out for quesadillas at El Rods when I feel anxious, if it means my sanity will remain in tact. My mental health is more important than getting an A+ on that research paper.
My dearest Virginia Tech, I bid you adieu. Thank you for giving me the best four years of my life and teaching me to relax, love myself, and love my life and where I’m headed.
Please don’t think this is a “forever” goodbye. It definitely isn’t. I’ll be back for a football game, I promise. And you better have a Rail waiting for me.
Peace, love, and gobble gobble.
Top graduation portrait by Melanie Beth Photography.
Kate Robertson is a features writer for Pretty Southern, and a conquering graduate at Virginia Tech. Originally form Atlanta, Kate plans to head to grad school at Elon University to further develop her career as a kick ass writer. Follow her on Twitter @kate3robertson. Click here to read her column “Love VT”.