“Why Would Anyone Want to go to a Women’s College?”

“Do you hate men?”

“Are you so boy crazy that you can’t focus with them in the classroom?”

No and no. But these are actual questions I’ve gotten about my time at Agnes Scott College.

Agnes Scott

The best decision I ever made.

Let me address the first question (and title of this post) with my answer of why I chose Agnes Scott College, one of the top Liberal Arts women’s colleges in the country.

Before visiting I was 100% sure that there was No-Way-No-How you’d catch me at a women’s college. I was confident already, boys in the classroom didn’t scare me. I soon realized that wasn’t the point. The type of woman who attends Agnes Scott College and other women’s colleges are the opposite of afraid.

From my first steps on campus where I was immediately greeted by some of the most intelligent, confident, fearless and together women I’d ever met, I knew that I had stumbled into something amazing. Over the rest of that first weekend that I spent at Agnes Scott interviewing, attending panels, and talking with current students, I became 100% certain that it was the college for me.

I saw that the women of Agnes Scott were there to get the best education possible- a rigorous curriculum mixed with real world experiences and plenty of extracurricular activities to explore and grow in. These women cared about my passions and my goals in life, and we were in an environment that would nurture and allow me to cultivate my interests. I knew I wanted that. I wanted to be that kind of woman.

Current students at Agnes Scott welcomed me right away- before I was even officially a student there. The entire campus community was like that, welcoming me in enthusiastically and excited about the type of woman I could become.

I wanted a place where I could focus on my education and future, and that place for me was a women’s college.

Agnes Scott Graduation

Some of the most amazing women I’ve ever met.

Was it easy? No, but not for the lack of men.
I worked harder and more was expected of me at Agnes Scott than of my friends at other co-ed schools. This is not to say that all co-ed schools are easy, as I’m sure they aren’t, but the academic rigor at Agnes Scott is not to be compared to basket weaving and cooking classes.

And men? Psh, we were in Atlanta! There are plenty of other schools around when you want to go out. Some of my best friends are men who went to Georgia State and Morehouse!

Was it fun? Absolutely.

I spent time discussing real world issues and time discussing shoes and clothes. I partied with my friends and I studied and worked and researched with them as well. The friends I made at my women’s college will be my friends for a lifetime. They are as diverse as they come with so many varying goals and dreams. And that’s the beauty of it. We laughed and cried together and experienced college life together.

I spent my four years at college surrounded by ambitious, feisty, intelligent women who encouraged and supported me at every turn.

With all that being said,

Why wouldn’t I want to go to a women’s college?

Advertisements

Dear Class of 2017,

Happy Black Cat!

I realize many of you may never read this, but I feel the need to write it anyway.

You are all now officially Scotties. Welcome, and congratulations! You’ve made what could be the single best decision of your life, and you are most definitely in for a great adventure in the next four years.

I know you’re all currently probably thinking you’re settled in and getting the hang of this college thing, but I hope you are all in for the ride of your life.

You are the new yellow class. A class of power, determination, attitude, and strength. Our class of 2013 is trusting you to carry on this legacy as we pass the color on to you. I know it may not seem like the best of colors (I own way more blue than yellow! Red seems more intense! Green is so pretty! I hear you, trust me) BUT let me tell you, you can TOTALLY rock yellow. It will look good with whatever skin tone. And ya know, if it doesn’t, wear it proudly anyway. Make connections with your new class, your new sisters, and the place in which you will spend your next four years.

THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH YELLOW! Think outside the box. Paint things yellow. Caution tape is yellow. Some tractors are yellow. Yellow cars exist. Rubber duckies, bananas, Pikachu, the sun, macaroni and cheese, yellow submarines, itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikinis, MINIONS! You are creative women, you’ll get there, I promise. The quad looked great from the pictures, keep on owning it.

During Orientation, you most likely heard President Kiss tell you that you are feisty more than once, and she’s right. You’re joining the ranks of some of the feistiest, most amazing, intelligent, kind, and wonderful women I’ve ever met. With time, you’ll hear about the make up of your class (you guys are from all over!) You’ll hear about famous alums (Jennifer Nettles was a member of a yellow class too!) and you’ll hear about alum, staff, faculty and upperclasswomen who will help you get through these next four years. Listen to all of these incredible people. They’re right. Mostly. If you don’t think they are, say it. They’ll also be open to what you have to say.

Moving on in your Agnes Scott career, you will struggle. It will will hard. “It” meaning academics, mental stability, and life in general. I know sometimes being a first-year is hard. I know sometimes other years will be hard. You will probably fall and crash and burn at some point (or several). But don’t doubt for one minute that your sisters and the support system that surrounds you will lift you back up and help you get through each and every low point you face. The girls you are beginning to get close to will be the women that will be there for you no matter what, 2pm or 2am, just because you need them. They will be the women who will change the world and help you do the same. They will be the women who will cheer you on and celebrate your greatest achievements with you. You will learn, grow, and love together.

The chant that you undoubtedly heard a ton during Bonfire of “WE LOVE OUR SISTERS!” isn’t just words. I can tell you 100% that I love, love, love, the women that I graduated with. I love the women who will graduate in the years before you. They all inspire me to be better every single day.

Continue the legacy you’ve been left. Love each other. Support each other.

Agnes Scott isn’t just a college, it’s home for so many people. Treat it well.

We love our sisters. We love you already.

Sincerely,

The Valkyries, Class of 2013

From our first year to our Senior year ad beyond. These women are the best.

From our first year to our Senior year and beyond. These women are the best.

Tomorrow.

(Bare with me here, I’m on some cold meds and my mind isn’t quite at peak performance, but I feel the need to write this out tonight. Every teacher in my school is sick right now, yuck! We all shared the same germs, I suppose!)

Wow, is it the end of summer already? I guess it is, and I guess that’s why my mind and body feel so confused. I know it’s not news to anyone to hear that post-grad life is hard and confusing when you don’t know what exactly you’re supposed to be doing with your life.

Tomorrow is my last day of teaching my kiddos.

Tomorrow is move in day at Agnes Scott College for the new first-years. The new yellow class. The class that will take over what we left behind.

My heart feels like I belong there. Like that’s still the life I get to live. But it’s not. I am not supposed to be there as Orientation Council to help move in the new class. I’m not supposed to be returning for another year of classes at my beloved Agnes. I’m not supposed to be settling into Rebekah 304 with Maddie (even though I totally would still want to do this part).

This is a new phase of my life.

I don’t get to go back to that life.

And though it seems a bit silly and pretty obvious to type it out, it doesn’t feel obvious. I feels a lot harder than I expected. Giving up what I knew and thrived in has been harder than I thought it would be, simply because I didn’t realize that graduating meant living a new life. Agnes Scott will always be an important part of my life, but that’s not my life anymore.

I am no longer a college student. I am no longer a student at Agnes Scott. That’s not what my life is anymore.

I know this is getting repetitive, but I’m trying to find a way to put into words what I’ve been feeling. I’m failing, clearly, but I feel…

I still feel like a college student. I still feel too young to have already been through and graduated from college. I feel like I’m not quite ready. But then again, life doesn’t wait until your ready.

It just comes along, happens, and passes all before you know it.

However, I feel confident in my ability to take on whatever challenge and adventure comes next. Having attended Agnes Scott makes me feel ready to take on the world, albeit one day at a time. And maybe I don’t feel quite like I’m supposed to twenty-something just yet, but I feel like I have the foundation to face this life head on, and work hard to figure out what comes next.

Graduation, moving, and puppies, oh my!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated, but I promise there’s a reason! I graduated from college and moved across the country! It’s been such a whirlwind couple of weeks but I’m finally catching up with everything going on.

First of all, let me say that graduating from college is the most amazing feeling I have ever experienced. The amount of love and pride I felt radiating all over my college campus that day was overwhelming in the most fantastic way. My beautiful, sweet, intelligent, kind, incredible friends all did wonderfully and we all couldn’t have been more proud of each other. We’ve all supported each other through four years of the greatest but also most difficult and trying years, but we survived and came out stronger, more confident women.

401833_602051971394_192302761_n     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We’ve loved each other with incredible strength, passion, and loyalty, and these women have become my true support system and best friends. I couldn’t imagine life without them, and I feel profoundly lucky that I don’t have to.

And of course I can never forget about my other incredible support system. My parents and two of my brothers were able to make it to my graduation and I was so so happy that they were there!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A couple days after graduation, my brother and I started on the drive back to Idaho! We had a pretty uneventful trip, just a lot of driving and counting antelope in Wyoming! And of course, coming home I’ve been spending a lot of time with this sweet baby!

IMG_20130516_154326

Almost there!

Yesterday was my last day of undergraduate classes… ever.

Which is kind of a big deal. Or at least it’s supposed to be. I feel like the only member of my graduating class who wasn’t posting on Facebook about how excited they were to be done with classes and how different they felt.

I’ve been struggling with this today because I don’t feel any different. Yesterday felt like any other day of class and then work and then home. Today didn’t feel different either. I think I half expected to wake up and find that I magically felt like this whole graduation thing is real.

It doesn’t seem real at all.

The countdown is at 10 days until graduation. About 50 pages of writing stand between me and that diploma (my senior research thesis and a couple take-home exams).

Maybe it’s because I still have a lot of work to get done before I can really be done and stop stressing. Maybe it’s because I’m sick– it’s just a cold, but it’s exhausting me. Maybe I’m still in denial about moving away from my life here and going back to cold Idaho. I can’t really pinpoint why this is happening.

Maybe I’m not supposed to feel any different, but I feel like I should. I’ve been looking forward to my college graduation my whole life. This has always been the goal. And maybe that’s part of it too. Now that I am reaching this goal- the furthest one I’ve ever really set for myself- I don’t really know what to do. I mean I know that I’ll be teaching for a bit and at this point I hope to return to Atlanta at some point and possibly grad school but I’m really not sure.

I’m really looking forward to the day where I wake up and feel accomplished and different. I know I’ll get there one day, but it sure would be nice if it was soon!

Leadership Awards and SpARC!

Tuesday was the college’s leadership awards, and as a student leader (President of our Latina organization on campus, Latinas Unidas) I was invited. I was also recognized as part of Who’s Who Among America’s College Students. It was a great night that really acknowledged all the hard work that students do to create programs and promote awareness of different issues within the community.

2013-04-23 19.29.51      2013-04-23 19.33.32

A little fun was had with the balloons afterward  🙂

Yesterday (Thursday) was our Spring Annual Research Conference. Students (mostly seniors) are able to present what they’ve been working on and show everyone their findings. It’s a really great thing to have on campus that we all feel pretty lucky to have. Most students have been doing research for the semester leading up to this. However, I’ve been working on mine for a year!

2013-04-25 10.06.57

It was an extra stressful week leading up to the conference. I was finalizing data analysis, creating my presentation, practicing, timing, and organizing everything. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be ready.

Then, yesterday, it all came together! My presentation went smoothly and a lot of people actually came to watch. Only a few were my friends to support me but the rest were honestly interested in the subject. It felt good to give a presentation on what I’d been working on for so long that people enjoyed. A few of my deans and professors also came out. Celebrity status, ha.

Most of my presentation won’t make sense without me talking and explaining everything, but here are my title and thesis slides!

title slide      thesis

It’s been a great and busy week. This weekend begins the paper writing. Over 50 pgs in the next week need to be written, so I’ll be keeping busy still! Here we go!

Snapshot_20130425_10

Weekend recap!

This past weekend was lots of fun and filled to the brim with friends, food, and of course- homework.

First, on Friday morning I rang the bell! Ringing the bell is a huge tradition at Agnes Scott. As a senior, when you get into grad school or accept your first real job, you get to go up to the bell tower and ring the bell to let everyone know about your accomplishments. It was definitely a proud moment for me and I was shaking most the time. Afterward I was so happy and nervous I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry or both! It was a lot of fun!

IMG_20130412_114117      547256_10151676212013488_428411535_n      58949_10151326761721315_1982301128_n

After that I had my usual Friday mornings (for LU and such) and then walked out on the quad to see this cute kid! My friend Emma babysits him and they came to visit campus for a bit. He is my favorite and gives me my baby fix when I need it. He’s super adorable and so happy.

2013-04-12 15.51.55       2013-04-12 15.50.52

Then Friday night was Spring Fling! I thought about not going, but my sweet friends convinced me to put on a pretty dress and go have fun and I am so glad they did. We had a blast hanging out and dancing the night away. I also got my palm read and apparently I have the mark of an educator (surprise), will have 3 kids and be married once. I’ll take it! I’ll be excited to see our “professional” pictures from that night and I know Camille has some on her camera too but for now I have these! (featuring my loves Larricia, Camille, and Megan)

2013-04-12 22.09.30      2013-04-12 22.10.13      2013-04-12 22.11.08

Saturday was for recovering from the exhausting night (my feet were definitely hurting!) and getting work done. At night though, Megan and I decided to go to Panera because of the wedding happening on campus. My GPS took us in a round-a-bout way to get there but it meant we drove through a neighborhood of beautiful houses that we drooled over and said “someday” about. Then we discovered this adorable little park! It was so fun!

2013-04-13 19.54.04      2013-04-13 19.53.21

And of course, knowing me, I had to get in the water! I took a little trip across the creek to “look for gators” and splash around a little.

2013-04-13 19.59.44      2013-04-13 19.56.47

Sunday was a relaxing day with lots of class reading and napping and Netflix watching. A good weekend, overall. Now time for another week of classes and research! Hard to believe I’m only 26 days from graduation!