Thank You, SMU

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Photo credit: Courtney Madden

As I approach my final days as a student at Southern Methodist University, I feel every emotion possible. Most people say “bittersweet,” but I think even that word isn’t enough to express the way I feel. I am so honored to receive a degree from, what I believe to be, the greatest university in the nation. Three and a half years ago at my high school graduation my classmates and I were told the best days of our lives were yet to come… And they were right.

All my life it was my dream to be a collegiate athlete and never in my life did I think that was possible. I want to start by thanking my coaches for giving me the opportunity to pursue my lifelong dream. College track and field taught me lessons and boundaries I will carry out in every aspect of my life. From diversity and respect, to timeliness, commitment and dependability, SMU athletics taught me ethics, ideals and values that I will forever cherish.

As a collegiate athlete, I experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Now as a person in the “real world” I will forever strive to feel the thrill of victory again. I will always remember the agony of defeat I felt on the track and the times I worked through the pain to feel the thrill of victory again. I will never forget how incredible that feeling was and how worth it that moment of victory turned out to be.

If I could go back in time I wouldn’t change one thing. I am so thankful for this University and the faculty and staff who helped all of the students grow. Walking into a classroom where the professor knows your name is something you can’t find at every university. Although that didn’t always work in our favor attendance wise, it gave all of us some sort of obligation and standard we felt we needed to meet. In most cases, I found myself not wanting to let my professor down.

My advice to you would be to take a step back and never rush anything. That research paper you’re dreading and thinking you won’t ever be able to finish, you’ll finish and you will do fine. What they didn’t tell us at high school graduation is how precious life truly is. Live in the moment, make memories, make mistakes and learn from them, and never ever forget to tell the ones you love how much you care about them. Appreciate the people in your life, appreciate the time you have with them and realize how precious these moments are. Realize what you have today could easily be gone tomorrow and most of the time life isn’t fair.

Most of my favorite college memories were made with my best friend Hannah Catherine Moss, who suddenly passed away from an undetected heart condition in her sleep. Speaking at my best friend’s funeral was never in my college plans, but what I realized is we’re never given something we can’t fight through. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Hannah, especially with college drawing to an end and I will never forget the precious moments we shared. Hannah’s motto was “When it hurts most–laugh.” So I encourage you to just simply laugh. Things will get hard, but you will get through them. Cherish every moment, every memory and count your blessings everyday.

In closing, I’d like to thank The Daily Campus, for giving me the opportunity to serve as the sports editor; I had the absolute time of my life. I can’t wait to look back in a few years and see how much all of our teams have grown.

Thanks for the memories SMU! Pony up.

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