Last Saturday, I graduated from college. The day that I waited and worked for four years for came and went…and it was wonderful. I was terrified that I would oversleep and be late for everything, but I got up on time and was only a tad bit late for a breakfast before graduation. I got my morning Starbucks, and spent my last hour as an actual Butler student the way that I’ve spent every other….by socializing. The ladies in charge of keeping all the graduates organized and in our seats probably hated me (and others like me), because I couldn’t sit still, so I wandered the West Gym and chatted with friends until we filed into the Main Gym in Hinkle.
I didn’t really know what to expect at Commencement, because I didn’t know how many people would speak (or what they would talk about), how long it would last, and how hot/miserable it would be (there’s no A/C in Hinkle). I was pleasantly surprised though…because it was really enjoyable. Two of our class officers (Chris Beaman and Lauren Pedigo) made me cry, but for good reason, and our speaker, Richard Stengel, was absolutely perfect. So much of it just made me so proud and fortunate to have been a Butler student, and to be a part of such a great tradition for four years.
I knew that Commencement had the potential to be long and boring…so I was prepared with ways to entertain myself. My main goal was to live tweet the event. Throughout the morning, I tweeted 15 times, which wasn’t bad considering that it lasted for about three hours. I tried to tweet about each person that spoke, and I toyed the idea of tweeting to each one of my friends when they walked across the stage…but I think that all of my followers are glad that I didn’t follow through with that idea. I also took photos of all different things during the morning, and I Instagramed some of my favorites. Here are two of them:
- My sorority sister’s cap just happened to be in the perfect place for this one…and all of the banners kind of make Butler look like Hogwarts – don’t you think??
- The real deal – my diploma.
After it was all over, I found my family, and began the celebration. For me, that meant taking photos – everywhere. We started at Alpha Phi, with all of the girls who graduated in my pledge class (we have quite a few pharmacy majors who won’t graduate until 2014), then we took family photos at my favorite place on campus (Holcomb Pond), and a few more on the mall at the BU sign and at the Bulldog. We also stopped by the COB‘s reception for parents and graduates, where I had the chance to introduce my parents to the people who have played such a big hand in my college career, and where I was able to say my final goodbyes to my professors. Again, it was an absolutely amazing day…and I couldn’t have imagined a better way to end my time at Butler!
My family and I...
My other family and I....Alpha Phi
This blog wouldn’t be complete without a few tips for future graduates of Butler University. On your graduation day…some things to remember are:
- Wear something lightweight under your gown. Even if it isn’t too hot out that day, they are STILL miserable.
- Girls, take bobby pins for your cap. And – know that you can fit a really small purse under your gown.
- Go to the bathroom before commencement. It’s a long ceremony…and there is only one time available to slip out and relieve yourself.
- After graduation, if you have cords and other regalia, hold on to them tight. I almost lost mine a few times…and actually lost them once (but I found them too).
- Eat plenty beforehand. You’ll get really hungry just sitting there forever…
- Charge your phone fully. Mine was fully charged, and it ended up at around 50% by halfway through the ceremony…(maybe it was all my tweeting??)
At Butler, everyone loves to honor and appreciate the seniors…which I love. For the last few weeks, we have had special events all the time, which has made life busy but obviously really fun…
This year I was fortunate enough to be selected as a part of the Top 100 Students at Butler, along with one of the other bloggers, Olivia! It is such an honor to be a part of that group of students, and they held a wonderful dinner to celebrate the program and to announce the Top 10 men and women at Butler. I think the night of the dinner was when my parents and I started to realize that I’m almost done….and that the last 4 years have just flown by. Also – a special Congratulations goes out to Olivia for being named to the Top 10 women!
Lauren, Meghan, and I at the Top 100 Banquet.
At the end of Alpha Phi’s Senior Week we always have a brunch for the seniors and their parents. We eat the traditional Saturday brunch that we have loved on for the last 4 years, our littles each say a few nice words about us, they sing some songs that are special to Alpha Phi, and they give away a few senior awards. It was just an all around amazing time to spend with my sorority sisters and our parents, because they all hear us talk about Alpha Phi, but I don’t think that they ever really understand what the sisterhood means to us all, until they see it at an event like the Senior Brunch.
Lauren and I at our Senior Brunch at Alpha Phi.
Every year during Senior Week at Alpha Phi, we have a time where the seniors hand down all of their Alpha Phi attire, memorabilia, and anything else random that we have accumulated over the years. Some people give away everything, but I really wasn’t ready to part with some of my things just yet…so I kept some of my favorite shirts and sweatshirts. Partially I kept some because I like them so much, and partially because I wouldn’t have any other clothes to wear if I did. But I did pass along quite a few good things, like my A Phi license plate, a Sarah Palin calendar, and some crafts I made over the years.
Everything I passed down during Senior Wills.
Sometimes I forget that I grew up in a very different way than most people. My Dad is a farmer, and I grew up showing cattle all summer long…every summer. To me, this is totally normal since I’m from a small town in southern Indiana, but when other people introduce me as “The Farm Girl”, I remember that not everyone knows what the difference between a bull and a steer is, and that the weather on the 11 p.m. news isn’t the most important thing on television for everyone.
I love being a farm girl….I truly do. For me, it is the only thing that saved me from being the girliest girl on this side of the Mississippi, since the rest of my childhood revolved around dance and cheerleading. I wasn’t super hardcore about showing cattle or anything, but it’s only normal to get stronger and tougher when you are pulling a 1300 lb. steer around a show ring. And I’m sure that someday I will be able to take my talent of cleaning out stalls (aka scooping manure) straight to the bank… even though I have no idea how that will happen.
This is my absolute favorite time of the year…because spring is when everything on the farm basically comes back to life. Cows have baby calves, my Dad plants all of his crops, and since it stays light outside past 6 p.m. there is so much more time that you can spend outside. And as spring turns to summer, everything just gets better and better. County fair time starts again and the crops grow, which makes drives on highways and country roads absolutely perfect. All of these things make it that much harder for me to be away from home, because there is nothing better than life in the country in the spring and summer. I survived last year….but I’m really not sure how I will take it for the second year in a row. I know it is all a part of growing up and moving on….but why would you want to move on when this is in your back yard???
This last week/weekend was something that I had been dreading for awhile….initiation for my sorority. I wasn’t dreading it for bad reasons…I was dreading it because I didn’t want it to be over. Since initiation is done…that means that it’s been six weeks since the semester began, which just makes it that much closer to me being done with college. I also just love initiation week, from all of the fun traditions that we have, to just being able to spend more time than normal with my sorority sisters.
This year we had a banquet for all of our new members, to celebrate them officially joining Alpha Phi, and it was an amazing day. The seniors all got together beforehand just to hang out and spend time as a pledge class, and then we joined the rest of the group for the banquet. During the afternoon, we all had the best time just being together, and reminding each other of why our sisterhood is so special. At one point, all the seniors sang a song that one of our alumni wrote about our house, and I cried the entire time. Yes…I was that girl. Once the waterworks started flowing…there was no turning back. Based on how much I cried during Recruitment and this last weekend, I’m pretty sure this is how the next few months of my life will be…crying. A lot.
- My roommates and I…
- Love them so much!!!
Despite all of my crying (happy tears of course), it was an awesome day. We now have 42 beautiful new members in our house, and I can’t wait to see what the next two months bring us. We still have Spring Sports Spectacular, our spring philanthropy event-Phiesta, senior week, and formal left to go….so there’s really no reason for me to be sad…right?
- My entire Alpha Phi family…
In my sorority, Alpha Phi, we have families that each have a different theme. We bring new members into our families each year, and so this year we decided to change things up with our own family a little bit. We have been the Sweatpant Fam for a few years, and even though we loved our days in comfyness…we thought it was time to change it up – so we joined forces with another family. Now, we are the largest family in Alpha Phi (19 members strong)…and we are known as the Wild Fam. This made for a great family reveal…check it out!
The entire Wild Fam....
The Wild Seniors....
This year’s family night was kind of bittersweet for me…because just like everything else that I am doing right now…it was my last time around. I’m so happy that we have seven fabulous new girls in our family, but I’m sad to be leaving them. Just being called their Great-Grand-Big is strange….I feel so old!!!
My Great-Grand-Littles and I...
Doin' our Wild thang...in the foliage.
Welcome to the family Andrea, Melanie, Kate, Katie, Felicity, Laura, and Peyton! We’re so excited to have you!!!
This year was officially the strangest Christmas Break that I have ever had, mostly because I was the only kid around my house for most of the time. I was an only child for most of break because my sister and her husband didn’t get to our house until the 27th…so we postponed all of our Christmas traditions…like I mentioned in a previous blog. Not going to lie…I threw myself a pretty big pity party for a few days. Eventually…my sister and brother-in-law got here…and everything was just as it should be. We opened gifts, made our usual Christmas dinner, had my Mom’s family over, and just had an all around great time.
Since this year was already turning out to be completely different than other years…I wondered how many things would change. Don’t worry though… my family pulled through and we had a traditional family Christmas. There are several things that go into our traditional family Christmas…
- Watching Christmas Vacation
- Renting tons of other movies
- Sleeping…a lot
- Laying on the couch
- Eating awesome food (mostly meat)
Don’t worry…there wasn’t too much fighting…my sister and I just like to show our love in very different ways….
Also…one of the biggest successes over Christmas Break was that I officially got my little cousins hooked on Vera Bradley. Sorry family…you’ll really hate me in about 5-10 years…but aren’t they just precious??!!
Growing up, every Christmas my sister and I would get a part of a toy farm. We live on a farm, so it was kind of our way to channel our inner farm girl in the middle of the winter. Once we had Christmas lunch, our parents would usually fall asleep and we would build our farm. We were kind of good at setting up the farm…but we really weren’t that creative…since we were small children. A few years ago we brought back the farm set tradition…and it’s gotten better and better ever since.
This year, our additions were a large pasture for horses and cattle, “grass”, and Christmas decorations. Don’t be alarmed that there is green grass at Christmas, because it was a warm day this year anyway, so it was just being true to life.
For the Christmas decorations, we hot glued some of our Mom’s Christmas beads (thanks Mom!) to the farm house…
…and used a Christmas Peep as the blow up Christmas lawn decoration.
We also made a few changes to how we set up the farm. When we were growing up, my sister and I begged our Dad for a horse, but his response was always that horses didn’t get along with cows, so we wouldn’t have anywhere to put them. So, this year, we wanted to prove that cows and horses could get along together….and we put a cow with the horses.
Being a kid at Christmas (or just acting like one) is so much more fun than being a grown-up…and I think our parents appreciated that acted our age and cleaned it up all by ourselves too.
Happy New Year everyone! To wrap up my review of the fabulous year of 2011, I’ll be going over some of the really big things that happened in my life between August – December. Also…check out January-July and the Wedding Edition if you haven’t yet!
Interning at Vera Bradley
This summer I moved to Fort Wayne to work at Vera Bradley as an HR Intern, and I had the time of my life. I tripled (or quadrupled) my Vera Bradley collection, got to live on my own for the first time, and I got to blog for Vera too!
Welcome Week has always been one of my favorite weeks of the year…and this year was no different. I had a great Student Orientation Guide partner and Orientation Group… shout out to Tanner and our legit group!!! Check out my blogs from that week for more about what happened each day.
Homecoming week is like Christmas each year…but this year it was somehow better than it ever has been. As a senior, everything is special, so things that are already awesome (like Homecoming) just become exponentially better. Between Yell Like Hell, lawn decs, and the actual day of Homecoming, the entire week was amazing. Can’t every week be Homecoming???
My Trip to Albuquerque
During Thanksgiving Break, I went to Albuquerque to see my sister and brother-in-law. We went sightseeing, hiking, and made the best Thanksgiving dinner that I think I’ve ever had. Even though I love the Midwest…the Southwest is pretty awesome too.
I got a job!
In early December, I found out that I officially have a post-grad job…every college senior’s dream. I’m excited to not have to worry about what I will do after May 12 (my graduation date), but even more excited because I don’t need to search for internships or jobs anymore. For the last year and a half, I have basically been constantly searching for jobs or internships….and now that I don’t have to…I feel free….and so excited. Bring it on 2012!!
Tagged: Albuquerque, career, family, Homecoming, job, lawn decs, Orientation, orientation guide, senior year, Vera Bradley, Welcome Week, yell like hell
One of the biggest events to happen in 2011 for my family happened back in July, when my older sister, Natalie, got married. (You can read the blogs about the wedding here and here.) It’s been awhile since the wedding, but since Natalie and John (her husband) are in town visiting for Christmas, we are ordering photos and going through them all together for the first time. Our cousins Adrienne and Dan were the photographers, and they did such a great job that I thought I would share some of my favorites with all of you. Here we go…
The wedding party during the ceremony… (notice the aisle runner – my sister and I crafted that the week before the wedding, and you can read all about that… here)
Natalie and John, walking back down the aisle after they got hitched….
The wedding party…
The cake and the reception venue… (they had a morning wedding and a brunch reception, so the skylight was a beautiful touch)
My sister, brother-in-law, and I…
The beautiful bride and all of the bridesmaids…
The wedding party…
At the time…planking was HUGE. So…we planked.
Thanks for doing such a great job on the photos, Adrienne and Dan! If you like what you see…check out the Rowe Portrait Studios website!
Merry Christmas everyone! Even though it really is Christmas…it just doesn’t feel like it to me right now. This is mostly because we’re not quite following our Christmas traditions in any way this year….for several reasons:
- Christmas is on a Sunday
- My sister and brother-in-law (who live in Albuquerque) are back home to visit, but they won’t be coming to our house until the 27th (Tuesday).
The biggest game-changer is the second one…because we don’t want to do any of our Christmas-y things until they get here. And since they are bringing most of my parents Christmas gifts, I don’t want to just open gifts by myself, so we’re waiting until they get here to do the whole present thing. There are a few other things that we are waiting to do until they get here…like…
Putting up our farm set…
This is a Flint Christmas tradition, because when we were little, we would get a new piece for the farm set each year. So, once our parents would start their Christmas afternoon naps, we would put on the Disney movie we got for Christmas, and pull out the farm set. Now we still do it when our parents start their Christmas afternoon naps, but without the Disney movie.
Putting out our farm set last Christmas...
Watching Christmas Vacation entirely too many times…
This is our favorite Christmas movie by far, so we watch it a lot. Back before my sister and I got entirely too busy for our own good, we would watch it every day….or at least once a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I even thought that we might have to stop this tradition…because I couldn’t find my copy of Christmas Vacation when I was still at school. Don’t worry though, I found it when I got home…so I’ll still be able to watch Clark Griswold more than any normal person should.
The one positive of my sister and brother-in-law’s arrival postponing Christmas for our family is that this way, we still get plenty of delicious meals. We aren’t just going to eat normal food on Christmas Day, so we’ll probably have my personal favorite…steak…for our Christmas dinner. Well I’m off to go enjoy Part 1 of my Christmas…. Have a wonderful holiday everyone!