It was 12:30 AM, my third night at Emory. Though it was dark outside, my floor was still wide-awake. They wanted to make a trip to CVS, but, as I said, it was 12:30 at night. In high school, my parents would never let me leave the house so late, but I decided to go on the walk. I felt like a total rebel. After nights of homework and roommate bonding time, I no longer see 12:30 as late, but I still mark that night as the first time I ever truly felt like a college student. And now, here we are at the end of our freshman year, and wow, how so much has changed since that walk. We started with songfest, where we danced and rocked out together the very first week. During that time, we spoke to our classmates only about where they were from, what dorm they were living in, and how we would totally grab dinner at the Duc together during the year. In no time, though, we became a true part of the Emory culture and our friends became family. Now, we can look back at the time we all celebrated the 175th anniversary of Emory, boogied down during Dooley’s Week, and did it in the stacks. And by it I mean studied, of course.
We’ve learned so much this year, both in the classroom and beyond. In the class, we learned how to titrate acid base solutions, analyze artwork, speak Japanese, understand economics, and write a proper college essay. Outside the classroom, we learned how to love a skeleton, find edible food in the DUC, and live on no sleep. Us Northeasterners learned that “y’all” is a word that real people actually say. You Southerners learned that not all people from Jersey dress as well as Snooki. The West Coasters learned that skinny jeans with vans aren’t as cool as pastel khakis with Sperry’s. And the international students learned that there’s more to America than McDonald’s and Coca Cola, except at Emory, where coke products serve as the only drink options available and the foundations to all our stocks.
Contrary to what Dooley’s mantra might say, there is something else besides him that lives on forever - amazing friendships. This year, I have met incredible people, on my floor, in my dorm, in class, and while dining in the Duc. Everyone here has had a positive influence and impact on our freshman experience. We’ve come to realize how lucky we are to be here. Besides being academically driven, we’re all smart and talented in our own unique way. This is easily seen through the cast of Hair, the dancers in Ahana, and the volunteers in Volunteer Emory. Here at Emory, the diversity thrives in the people and belief systems, and power comes from the respect we all have for our differences. We all challenge and inspire each other to be better every day.
Speaking of inspiration, what a fantastic university we attend. The weather is unbeatable, the professors are incredible, and the Wednesdays are Wonderful. We’re encouraged to trick or treat at JWags house, to jump on a bungee jump trampoline during homecoming week, to tan at a huge outdoor pool, and to take stress relieving walks in Lull Water.
Furthermore, Dooley’s week was a crazy experience in itself. How am I supposed to explain to my home friends the legitimacy behind having a skeleton dismiss us from classes? Or the utter awesomeness of the rainy Alesso Dooley Ball? And as if the t-shirts weren’t enough to make the week unforgettable, the free King of Pops were definitely the cherry on top.
Before we leave this wonderful university to head back to our summer plans or our couches, I just want to thank my freshman class. Thank you for being amazing, for being silly, for working hard but still having lives, and for making the best mEMORYs ever. We should all be proud of ourselves and know we’ll all going to get far in life, for Robert Woodruff only made it one year here, and we all know how successful he became.