As I sit here in my (almost) empty apartment, I look around at box after box and bag after bag of stuff. Much more stuff than I have needed these past three years here at Trevecca. Too many clothes and shoes, too much nail polish, lots of textbooks I should sell. But you know what is also in those boxes? Memories.
That dress I wore on the first day of my sophomore year. in Organic Chemistry. Those Nikes I ruined while making compost in Ecology lab. That coat I wore on the coldest day I have ever experienced. The umbrella and rain boots that I used time after time to walk to class in the pouring rain when I wanted to skip. Those index cards I never threw away after a first semester Biology test. Those purple towels and sheets from freshman year that I got specifically because they were “Trevecca purple.”
And then there’s the pictures: some of my family in frames; some I didn’t deem good enough for Instagram; some I had collaged all over my desk; some I had on bulletin boards. Many of these pictures I originally brought to college were of friends, trips, and different events during my high school years. However, the longer I was at Trevecca, the more that changed. Those youth group trips and band competition pictures turned into pictures of freshman orientation, Paintapalooza, Johnson Hall Formal, Boonearoo, friends’ birthdays, dorm events, ugly Photobooth selfies taken at 1 am, pep rallies, Homecoming events, and so many more wonderful times that I will never forget.
Tomorrow, when I officially move everything out of this Bush apartment where I have lived this past year, my senior year, I will take so many things with me. Over these past three years of college, I have cried tears over heartbreaks, bad test grades, fights with my parents, arguments with my friends, and other things that are just normal parts of life. But I will also carry with me the happiest days of my life thus far.
Physically, I will be gone from Trevecca. I will remove my name off of our front door. My picture won’t be in any more yearbooks. No more will my professors call my name when they take attendance. I will no longer have a student ID to get in the Caf. No more will I have a Trevecca email address. But all of these trivial and tangible things pale in comparison to the memories and stories I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
In 31 hours, I will walk across the stage on the steps of the religion building, named after Trevecca’s founder, J.O. McClurkan. I will receive a diploma to represent all of my hard work here. But my Trevecca story will not be over at 9 am on Saturday, May 3, 2014. It will be lived out everyday, in the form of Leadership and Service. I am called to do both of those things to our world, and the skills and ideas that I have been taught here will make all that possible.
I could spend all day telling you all the great things I have loved and will miss about this wonderful place and still not cover it all. I have loved my college experience so much and am heartbroken that it is over already. But I’ll be back. I’ll be back at Homecomings, for basketball games, alumni events, and maybe one day one of my own children will spend the best four years of their life here too.
I pray for prospective students that are thinking about attending Trevecca. If this is you, please know that you will not regret your decision to go to college here. If you are an alumni, you are the heart of Trevecca. Your love for this place helps other young students be able to love it too. I hope you enjoyed your years here as much as I have mine. I’ll bleed purple til the day I die. They call it “dear ole TNU” because it is so near and dear to our hearts. As I leave this Holy Hill on Saturday after Commencement, I know it will not be goodbye. Just a “see you later.”