It wasn’t until my freshman orientation that I realized college wasn’t for me (Yes, the two day orientation the summer before college even starts).
Here I stand, four years later (after transferring, studying abroad, seemingly endless summers of catching up on credits, student teaching, and completing three marathons) with two Bachelor’s degrees and a license to teach in the State of Massachusetts. Though I successfully navigated my college years, I can confirm that the “college experience” was not my cup of tea.
Luckily, I am stubbornly independent and was perfectly fine marching to the beat of my own drum as I moved around roughly every four months for four years. My schedule and setting changed on the regular, and running became my constant. When I wasn’t being challenged at my first school, I started to run. And my oh my look where it got me.
I attribute much of my success in college to running. Training for marathons has given me time management skills like no other. It is the perfect release during a stressful semester. It is the greatest excuse when I don’t want to stay out late. It has led me to incredible friends who like to go on adventures. It has taught me how to get lost on purpose. It has taught me to adapt, persevere, and endure. And sure, training for marathons while being a full-time student and working on the side isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’m glad it’s mine.
I put a piece of my Boston Marathon heat sheet inside my graduation cap. Heat sheets are given to runners upon completion of most marathons. A heat sheet protects you by keeping you warm after you stop running. Since 2014, I have kept a piece of Boston heat sheet in my wallet just because it means so much to me. I like knowing it’s there. Putting a piece of it in my cap was a no-brainer because I owe much of my success in college to running. As I sat at commencement, reflecting on my collegiate accomplishments and glimpsing into the uncertainty of the future, I was glad it was there to remind me of where I’ve been and to protect me as I head into the Great Unknown.
Thank You Notes (College Edition):
- Thank you to my Daddio for believing in me, being my biggest supporter, answering my phone calls at any time of day, and generally always giving the best advice.
- Thank you to my Mum for always being there, especially when I’m sick. (She makes the best soup).
- Thank you to my Debra for believing in me when I forget to believe in myself.
- Thank you to my sister for being my best friend, role model, proofreader, and the person that I look up to most in life.
- Thank you to my Austria friends for being adventurers.
- Thank you to my co-teacher/mentor for giving me all of her secrets. If I can be half the teacher that you are, I’d be satisfied.
- Thank you to my first students who taught me more than I could ever teach them.
- Thank you to my professors (four of them in particular) who prevented numerous b-downs over the years.
- Thank you to my laptop for not crashing.
- Thank you to my nine roommates over the past four years for the memories and for putting up with my early-set internal alarm and the noises I make when I (try to) stretch.