There is nothing harder than saying ‘goodbye’ to the people that mean to the most to you. The weekend marks the end of the my time in California. Not only have these past four years been about college, but they have been about friends, experiences, and overcoming obstacles. I have learned more than I could ever put into words and the people I have met have forever changed me.
As I have previously mentioned, Chapman was an experience of a lifetime. I loved every moment of the classes I took, the friends I made and the leadership positions I took on. The professors and faculty at Chapman are caring and supportive. I feel prepared to enter the ‘real world’ with my degree in hand. Thank you to everyone at Chapman that took a part in making me who I am today.
Although many of you may have plenty of negative affirmations associated with sororities and fraternities, I truly believe that my experience in Phi Sigma Sigma offered me opportunities unlike any other. The sorority offered me a chance to meet an array of people so diverse, passionate and intelligent. Getting along with 100 people so different than you is a difficult feat and I believe that it has made me appreciate who I am and who I surround myself with. The leadership positions that are accessible to members gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity to take hold of the leader I always knew I could be. Being president was not easy, I would never say it was. In fact, I believe that experience was the toughest obstacle (other than my mother’s cancer diagnosis, of course) I have yet to experience. However, as many say, “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger;” and I wholeheartedly believe that. I graduated from the sorority with more life experience than I ever could have imagined when I signed my bid card in the fall of 2004. Thank you Phi Sig for everything that you have given me.
My friends have made this time in California just as memorable as any other experience. I cannot express how amazing my friends are. They are my strength in times of need and my humor in times of happiness. I want to offer a special ‘thank you’ to Ashley, Becky, AJ, KR, Kara, Anz, and Rachel. You have changed my life and offered me inspiration for my future. I love you all and will miss you dearly.
Finally, my time at Temple Beth El has made such a large impact on my life. This is a special preschool that is unlike any other. The teachers are so dedicated, the parents are so supportive, and the children are the most joyful part of my day. I always knew I wanted to work with children, but these children are awe-inspiring. Not only are they intelligent, they are well-mannered, caring, and overwhelming passionate in their love for each other. Throughout my year at TBE, I have worked with many students with special needs and I cannot tell you how they have changed my view on life. Their unquestionable ability to accept anyone and everyone and their diligence in overcoming obstacles that they never asked for are enough to inspire me to be a better person. Along with these students, the rest of my class at TBE have loved me unconditionally and probably taught me more than they could ever know. A three-year-old has a passion for life and laughter that can mend any wound. These children will forever be in my heart. Jodi and Dani, don’t think I forgot about you. The two of you keep me grounded and remind me daily how much I have to be thankful for. You are both the teachers that I inspire to be. Your love for education, as well as the children is moving. Thank you for everything you do and for putting up me with me all this time!
California is a time and place in my life that I will remember forever. Thank you for everything that has been a part of this time, you mean to world to me.