my way

And now, the end is near. And so I face the final curtain. My friend, I’ll say it clear. I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain. I’ve lived a life that’s full, I’ve traveled each and every highway. But more, much more than this…I did it my way.

Today, I completed my last final. In just a day and a half, it’s my turn to walk across the stage, shake some hands, and take hold of my hard earned, long awaited college degree (or at least a sheet of paper that will serve as a degree until the real one comes in the mail). Curve balls are inevitable in college, and this week was no exception. Not only have finals and projects bogged us all down, but a sickness has also decided to sweep the valley. Campus has been one huge coughing, feverish mess. And I caught the bug.

I can’t help but think that what I’ve done here has been impactful, meaningful. My biggest hope is leaving a permanent stain. That some day a couple years from now, some students at JMU will still be impacted by what I’ve done here… Whether it’s in my sorority or in the dance program, I hope I’ve made a lasting impact, a footprint that can withstand the test of time.

But look at all that’s happened. From London and Italy, to sun shiny Los Angeles, from dancing in Richmond and DC to performing for college students and people of the community in Martinique. Getting to teach dance, getting to choreograph a TON. Meeting older dancers, meeting younger dancers. Traveling to New York City and realizing I can combine my love for dance with everything that my second major entails. Life has been shifted, altered, bettered in these past four years. Saying that things have changed is an understatement.

But what’s next? After all of this, the world is our oyster. The possibilities are endless. There is absolutely no one holding us back, telling us “no,” or trying to convince us to stop pressing forward. Seeking new, beautiful things. But this place has been a treasure.

The smell of 1270 on a rainy day. Laughter sounds that resonate at all hours of the day and night in the Forbes production room. The ratchet, pinkish brownish carpet that somehow always has 20 people cuddled up on it. Naps on the uncomfy leather couch. Rehearsal till midnight. 833 sing a longs and familiar faces. The way coffee lingers on my clothes whenever I spend more than an hour at Greenberry’s. Dave’s taverna, no matter where the location. D hall brunch. E hall with freshman hall mates. Cook out. Taking the bus. Walking through the tunnel and up the quad. Market spinach wraps and pasta bowls.

The memories are endless. The time has flown. So, here we go, world. Here comes a class of graduates from the happiest place on earth outside of Disney World. Congratulations, Dukes. Here’s to the rest of our lives.

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