To My College Professors

When you’re in college, professors may seem like constant enemies who all get together in a secret cult and plan to assign all major work one the same day.

But, in reality, and once you graduate, it’s easier to see that our college professors were more like saints who put up with us, who pushed us, who wanted us to succeed.

Five classes per eight semesters equals out to about 35 professors throughout one’s college career (banking on the fact that you probably had the same professor more than once).

I loved my professors, even when I hated them. They always had something to teach me. And more importantly, they put up with me – with all of us. My favorite aspect about my college professors was the fact that no two were ever the same. Each one brought something different to the table and varied when it came to the experience that came with them.

To my college professors:

The one who undoubtedly fought with me over every topic, whether or not I was correct. You taught me to raise my voice, to stand by my opinions, and to never let go of an idea that I truly believed in. You also taught me it was  OK to be wrong, and to find new paths in my mistakes.

The one who pushed me; beyond what I thought were my limits. When I didn’t think I was good enough, or when I thought I couldn’t do something, you showed me that no idea was ever too small. That if I wanted something, I could reach it no matter how far it seemed.

The one who believed in me. Who made me find passion beyond the books. Who made me eager to learn because you were eager to teach. Who made sure I was involved in things I would have missed out on because I wasn’t looking that way.

The one who really, really disliked me, and constantly let me know it. You showed me the true ability of proving someone wrong because I knew I could. You taught me how to push myself through tears and bad grades and the feeling of giving up. You made me realize what I did and didn’t want in a major. Even though you were never in my corner, you made me a better student, even if it wasn’t your intention.

The one who broadened my horizons. Who opened new doors. The one who made me realize that first impressions are not always correct. That I could enjoy a topic I thought I cared nothing about. The one who brought a classroom to life.

The one who became much more than a professor, but rather a mentor, and more importantly, a friend. The one I could show up to your office 10 minutes before your next class started because I needed to rant about school, or my stress level, or how the cafe had run out of espresso that morning and I didn’t think I would make it. Even through the semesters I wasn’t taking a class with you – you listened, you understood, and trust me when I say you made all the difference.

And all of the ones in between. You made a difference for me over those four years. Whether it was making my life easier when you could or making my tolerance to coffee stronger, who are the reason I am where I am today, because you made me believe I could – in one way or another.

To my college professors, thank you.

To My College Roommates: Thank You

“Your college friends become kind of like your family. You eat together, you take naps together, fight, laugh, cry, and do absolutely everything together until you can’t remember how you ever lived your life without them in the first place.”

My college roommates were wonderful. And frustrating. And occasionally my bitchy-voices of reason. It’s important to thank them for being there along the way…

Thank you for getting me home safely. On the nights I took an extra tequila shot (or three) when you weren’t looking, or when that boy looked 10x more attractive with my beer-goggles on, or when I wanted to take a quick sit on the middle of the side walk when the cop was approaching, you always knew when to take my ass home. Thank you.

Thank you for listening to me complain. When I had a big test, or the guy in my life was being a jerk, or when I just needed to yell, or cry, or cuddle in your bed and distract you because life was just too unbearable at the moment to be around anyone else.

Thank you for letting me order Chinese food and consume more lomein than any human being would ever like to admit to stuffing her face with. When the dishes were dirty and the fridge was empty, some of the best nights were ordering take-out and sitting around the living room, wine in hand and gossip on repeat.

Thank you for listening to me practice my speech and presentations until you could repeat the words back to me and knew them better than I did. I owe the majority of my college grades to you for keeping me sane during those late nights and library trips.

Thank you for hating people just because I hated people. That was always fun.

Thank you for allowing me to be the obsessive compulsive, organized freak that I am, and insisting on cleaning up the mess you weren’t done making.

Thank you for loving me at my worst.

Thank you for getting into big fights with me. For yelling, for saying things we didn’t mean. Thank you for knowing that it meant nothing at all, and that we would be fine within a few hours, a day at most, and for never leaving my side, no matter how mad we would get sometimes.

Thank you for forcing me to study when I didn’t want to. And for forcing me to go out when I had studied too much. For telling me I’d do better next time after a bad grade, and for taking me out for drinks when I did well. You kept my social and my school life in balance when I forgot how to.

Thank you for your closets and the clothes you allowed me to “borrow” for longer than intended. Thank you for keeping tampons, razors, and body wash on deck and allowing me to steal them when necessary.

Thank you for lying on the ground with me, staring at nothing, talking about everything. For sitting outside on the porch until the sun rose, discussing things that didn’t matter with the people who mattered most.

Thank you for letting me watch my dumb shows that you couldn’t stand, or for picking out a Pixar movie and sitting through it without complaint during roomie movie nights. You rock.

Thank you for allowing me to date someone(s) you knew I shouldn’t because you knew it was something I had to figure out on my own. Thank you for not judging, for keeping my deepest and darkest secrets, and for never letting me forget my own worth.

Thank you for wiping away my tears and making me laugh. Thank you for making me laugh so hard that I cried.

Thank you for not completely freaking out the day I brought a dog home, and for allowing him to be such a big part of your life because he was such a big part of mine. Thank you for walking him when I had a late class, and puppy-sitting when I was away, and feeding him when I had too many glasses of wine. Thank you for treating him like yours, even when he chewed your glasses or shoes.

Thank you for knowing and remembering every little detail I mentioned. About school, about family, about life. You always followed up, checked in, and had the best advice to offer.

Thank you for putting up with me, and my moods, and the nights I felt like singing at the top of my lungs in the shower. Thank you for also not possessing a fire-arm because there’s times I don’t know how you didn’t kill me.

Thank you for doing totally weird and bizarre things with me, and being just as odd as I was at times. For sitting in our cap and gowns a month before graduation taking tequila shots at our kitchen table while looking at pictures from Freshman year. For agreeing to do really crazy things at parties with me because we knew the importance of only being young once. For dancing and singing around the house with me in our pajamas. For taste-testing the disgusting food I would try and half-ass attempt from Pinterest. For lugging kegs into our apartment. For face masks. For waking up and getting out of bed for 3am diner trips when I couldn’t sleep. For Halloween costumes and St. Patty’s Day shenanigans. For letting me be the best me, no matter how stupid we looked.

And most importantly, thank you for your honesty, your loyalty, and your friendship. For telling me that I looked horrible in that outfit, or that I was about to make a terrible choice. For sticking by me when I wanted to start a fight in the bar, even if I was wrong. For yelling at the people who made me sad and for not yelling at me when I let people make me sad. For constantly and consistently being the best part of my college career.

For being the sisters I never had, thank you.

Emily, Nicole, Jenna, Daniella, Abby, Stephanie, and Kelly: From the bottom of my heart, thank you.