An image of Monroe, the History building at UMW with the school colors depicting hashtag UMW 17 with 4 days below it

Class of 2017, Graduating in Four Days

Four days, let’s spend this thanking the non-UMW friends that helped me survive my undergrad. These are the people that pushed me to stick with college, cheered me along the way, and have patiently waited for me to become social again. Just one more year, y’all.

4 Days to Grad: The Most Patient Cheerleaders


When I created my online international writing community back in 2012, I had never dreamt of all the writers I would get to know. I have crossed dozens of states to meet some of you, but nothing compares to my best friend Harri crossing the Atlantic to come see me. You all have pushed me to be a better writer, to learn new languages, to study different cultures, and to try new things. Running SABR, big or small, has been one of my greatest achievements and I am very proud of the work we have done. To get letters from some former members thanking me for their growth as they got into college was equally rewarding. As a cluster of us graduate and go on to grad school I know that whether you stay at SABR or move on that we will keep in touch and continue to motivate each other. I’m so proud of all of you and you deserve a massive thank you for your encouragement and distractions through all the chaos of college- and the sometimes chaos of SABR. I can only hope that all this saving of my limited pennies with the end goal of a UK trip in the summer of 2018 will actually pay off.

The Movie Crew

Most of you met me right out of high school and knew why I wanted to go to college but couldn’t. Some of you, Delmis, insisted that I was one of the smartest people you knew and that I had to go. It took ages to be able to reach a point in my life where my husband and I could manage to get me into college but until that point came you all never stopped encouraging me to better myself. Through these last four years, you have endured my absence or accepted my leaving early or showing up late. I appreciate you dragging Jake out because he refuses to do things without me. Moreso, I appreciate the visits and texts. I look forward to getting more time to see you all regularly again- and not just in Fredericksburg. Our not-so-little cluster of friends has been such a big part in making sure I didn’t isolate myself throughout this college experience.

The Outsiders

This is really for KT and Rosario, two of my best friends and two amazing women that I have kept in touch with since high school. Though, I consider my outside-the-bubble friends to also include the Germanna classmates, Duff McDuff parents, and work friends that don’t come to movie nights. Nevertheless, thank you to all of you. All of you have known me for years and most know that I take myself too seriously. I have undoubtedly taken our friendships for granted, failing to visit because I always prioritize school over everything else, but none of you made me feel bad about it. Whether we only get to see each other once a year, practically never, or only write to each other via email, text, or Facebook messenger, I hope you know that I care about you and that I am thankful for your support as I finish up my undergrad and move on to grad school. Maybe once I’m out of this I will be better about supporting your accomplishments. Don’t think I haven’t noticed them. I’m just as proud of you as you are of me.

The Practically Parents

When people say “it takes a village” to raise someone, I think that I could very likely be the poster child of that phrase. To the amazing women who educated me, took care of me, and pushed me to work hard, be kind, and never quit: Thank you. I was always a bit of a handful and from my toddler years all the way to this very moment, you continue to treat me like I’m one of your own kids. It’s really great to see that family is what you make it, it doesn’t have to be blood. Thank you for the prayers, hugs, phone calls, and texts. Graduation is the day before Mother’s Day and I don’t think it could be more fitting than to say thank you to the people that were like bonus parents to me. Mrs. Whittaker, Theresa, Tia Flaca, Mrs. Bee, and Mrs. Woodward you raised amazing children but you also made me, me.

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