Today was our end-of-the-year Owl Ambassador pajama party brunch. And I had pretty much the blog post written in my head before stepping foot into the Welcome Center today. About how I was judged for walking across campus in flannel pajama pants. About how we ate delicious food and laughed. About how we watched Elf.
And then I actually got to the Welcome Center. And that’s not what happened.
It’s not easy to pull over a surprise on me. I sniff it out. I have a hunch. But today, Owls, you got me. After our bosses, Niki and Adge, thanked us for another incredible semester, they started by giving a speech about my impending graduation. As soon as Adrianne said my name, the tears started flowing, and, trust me, they haven’t stopped all day. After Adge’s speech, so many Owls told me how much I meant to them and reflected on our time together. Kristin of our new-found friendship, Erika of our tea affinity, Tirzah of our basketball dates, Kendall of my mentorship, David of my laughter, Tom of our sports talk, Brandolyn of my smile, Aleks of being my first-ever friend at Temple. And the list went on.
If I wasn’t crying enough, a few of the girls brought out a gift–a framed collage of photos from my time in the Owl Office. As I unwrapped the frame, Kristin told me to sit back down because they had one more surprise for me. I sat down, truly confused, as the projection screen was muted. I assumed a photo slideshow or some embarrassing, goofy photos of me in the office.
Instead, I took in a huge gasp of air and the sobs really started coming as they showed me videos of Connor and Dom, telling me how proud they were of me for graduating, how I needed to eat some Tastykakes to celebrate, and how they knew my corny jokes would be hard to replace. Connor even wore the Temple shirt I’d mailed him in September, which was so thoughtful. From all the way in Georgia and Colorado, my two best friends got to share in my special day. I couldn’t stop crying. Not only were my two best friends incorporated into the party, but that Kristin and the rest of the Owls thought to include them was one of the most thoughtful things anyone’s done for me in my entire life.
For today, I owe a million thank yous. And as good as I am with words, I’ll never be able to tell how much today meant to me. Any time I’ve reflected on the day, the tears come again. My social skills aren’t always the best, and I don’t always think I have a ton of friends who care, but then there’s days like today. And all the love each of you showed for me is beyond words.
Thank you to the Owls for your heartfelt words, for your hugs, and for your memories the past three years. Being a tour guide gave me the confidence to achieve everything else. And that belongs to you all. Thank you to Kristin and the OCs. How you got the boys to do that is beyond me and thinking to include them meant the moon and back. Thank you to Adge and Niki for being mentors and confidants and supporting me in all my dreams for the past few years. Thank you to Connor and Dom, because you’re my best friends and every day there’s something I can’t wait to share with you two. And then today, as if my mind was read, there you were, and I can’t thank you enough for being a part of today.
(Bear with me with all the pictures…I don’t think I’ve added this many in one post since we hiked Quandary in July, guys!)