Junior Year

As I'm laying in my bed at home for the first time in forever, I can't help but reflect not only on the past week, but on all the moments and memories I've made since August. So much has happened that I never in my life expected. I never expected to be broken up with, to meet my best friend and the person who just gets me, to make so many new friends, to have my heart truly broken, to lose myself and find myself all over again. I couldn't have predicted a single one of those events, and that fact makes those memories so much sweeter.

After a rocky start to the year, I was determined to make my third year at NC State the best one yet... and I can honestly say that statement was made true! There were ups and downs, a lot of downs, but through it all I truly learned who I was and who I want to be. I learned what interests me, what my strengths are, what my weaknesses are, and what makes me happy. I was introduced to a wonderful group of people who truly made my year what it was. Never would I thought I'd say that a group of frat boys (excuse me, fraternity men) are my best friends! Not only them, but some other wonderful people, too. From watching Borat over and over, to some great themed parties, to lazy snow days sitting around doing a whole lot of nothing, to some great out-of-state adventures, I couldn't imagine life without them. When you're in college, being away from your real family can be hard, so your friends take their place. I can honestly say that the group of friends I made have become my family. We even called nights when we all cooked together family dinners! They have seen me at my lowest and my highest, they have supported me and encouraged me and told me when I was being stupid, and they have truly been my rock this year. Without them I would have thrown away a lot more burnt cookies and laughed a lot less. If there's anything I have taken away from junior year, it's the importance of true friends.

The past week has been a whirlwind. With four finals crammed into three days, I did a whole lot of nothing and then all of the sudden I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and then the year was over. I stayed a couple extra days with Taylor so I could go to graduation. A few of my best friends were graduating from Poultry Science and to be there to see them walk was such an honor. I almost made it through without any tears, but Shanna got me to crying there at the end. It was heartbreaking to see some of the people who really impacted my year go on to new adventure, but I couldn't be more happy for them. They have worked so hard and I am so thankful to have met them when I did. It made me think about next year and how an even bigger group of us are graduating together. Thinking about all of us going our separate ways makes me want to cry now, but I know that senior year will be even grander, even more spectacular. This is total picture overload, but here's to my favorite memories from junior year!

Hiking in Charlottesville on Fall Sisterhood Retreat

5 Seconds of Summer Concert with the reunited 4-H fam

Old Dominion with my favorite roomy

The milking booth and the State Fair... and Molasses

NC State put a ring on it... Fall 2015 class ring ceremony

Putting my arm inside a steer's rumen

Lots and lots of tailgates

Spending the evening in the ER when we should have been at a tacky Christmas sweater party

Many a football game spent in the rain

Going with our 4-Hers to Eastern Nationals

NYC with my faves

Jimmy Buffett with my other halves

Formal at White Lake

Atlanta... and turning a 7 hour drive home into a 12 hour adventure

Getting a sweet little

Buying outfits to wear for a total of 1.5 hours at a party

Watching this little fella grow a ton in 4 short months

and watching Shanna graduate! 

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