Today is a big day. In three hours I am graduating from San Jose State with my BS in Advertising... I have plenty of jokes about that part. In five years, I've become a completely different person. I've met some amazing people... some have already parted ways and some will be with me forever. I'm 100% thrilled to be moving on to the next step in my life and 100% terrified to be done with this one. It's a feeling I expect will stick around for a while. So, in honor of this big day, here are the Top 10 Highlights of My Collegiate Career chronologically...
1. Joining Alpha Phi Omega & Becoming Brenda's "Little Sister"
When I first moved to San Jose, I didn't know anyone except people I had met at orientation and some of the other students who lived in the International House with me. I was excited to be in a brand new place with brand new people and was very rarely homesick... I wanted to do everything. Luckily... or perhaps it had nothing to do with luck at all... Alpha Phi Omega found me and held on to me. They were a co-ed fraternity of people who wanted to serve their community and they became some of my fastest and longest-lasting friends. Four of my Alpha Phi Omega "brothers" were bridesmaids in my wedding. I'll never forget the day that I found out Brenda was my "big sister" after a week of clues and treats. She's still one of the most adorable and beloved people in my life.
2. Every Moment I Spent Climbing
For the first two years I was in school, I developed a healthy rock climbing addiction. I loved being in the gym for HOURS at a time with our tight knit "crew" and I loved camping and climbing outdoors in Bishop or Squamish even more. I have to say... I was really buff. Having our downtown gym close and moving on from that stage in my life was one of the most challenging things I've had to go through.
3. The Weekend I "Met" Jake
Jake and I have a mutual friend named Ann who pretty much instigated our relationship. It all started around finals time, so we weren't able to meet in person right away. First we messaged on Facebook, then IM'd, then texted and called for hours at a time while I was home in Southern California on break. The first weekend I really met Jake in person was when he came down during the winter break with Ann and our other friend Scotty. We had a ton of fun that weekend, watching movies and football games, going to Hollywood and Disneyland... after about the second day... we were in it to win it. Never separated since.
4. Alpha Phi Omega National Convention
In 2008, I was selected as one of the two chapter delegates for Alpha Phi Omega's National Convention. Some of my closest brothers in APhiO were on that trip to Boston. From the business meetings to walking through historic Boston in a snowstorm to New Year's Eve, it was one of the best trips of my life.
5. My 21st Birthday
This was just an altogether fun night. Everyone I loved was there with me and we were just silly and fun. Photos from that night make me smile every time... and yes, I remember it all. I was obsessed with animal print at the time, so the theme was "A Stumble in the Jungle."
6. Getting My "Littles"
I have two "little brothers" and two "little sisters" in the Greek system: Kris, Megan, Mario and Jessie. They are a huge joy to me and I love them like real siblings. They were all at my wedding and they will be in our lives forever. Each pairing is a really special memory for me.
7. Alpha Xi Delta Bid Day
After researching, creating an interest group and a lot of wishing and praying, Alpha Xi Delta was welcomed on to our campus... but we still had to get in. People laugh at me when they hear that I wasn't sure if I'd be asked to join the new chapter or not, but my bid day with Alpha Xi Delta was probably one of the most nerve-wracking and exciting days ever.
8. Alpha Xi Delta Chapter Installation
After Bid Day, there was a lot of work to be done. I was the colony president. My new sisters and I created a chapter and a sisterhood in just one semester and we couldn't wait to make it official. On January 24th, 2010 we were officially installed as the Iota Omicron Chapter. I have never had a prouder moment.
9. Our Trip to Las Vegas
A couple months before we got married, we took some of our closest friends and drove out to Las Vegas. It was the spring break trip that you never forget and it was desperately needed.
10. Marrying My "Spartan Sweetheart"
After almost three years of college together, I married my best friend and college sweetheart on June 5, 2010. All of our friends and family were there to help us celebrate the most important day of our lives. It didn't exactly make me the "average" college girl around here, but it was the happiest day of my life.
Well, that's about as close as I can get to summing up college. I can never fully describe what happened here. I came to San Jose believing my choice was random, but learning that God had it in his plan for me all along. What a beautiful journey this has been. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to curl my hair, put on my graduation dress and take that big leap into the next part of my life.