A thank you letter to Athens, Ohio

For one city to change your life, it has to be pretty magical. Little did I know, three years ago, when I chose to transfer to Ohio University to pursue a degree in Spanish Education, just how much magic this little city in Southeastern Ohio had. 

I didn’t have a traditional senior year, not in the slightest, and, if I had it my way, I’d be getting ready to graduate right about now, probably reminiscing on college memories with my friends. Instead, I’m crying at my desk in Chicago. Funny how life has different intentions than our own. Despite this, I still have a lot I want to say to that magical city before I’m technically a graduate. 

There’s so many people, restaurants, homes, dorms, etc. that I could thank but there aren’t nearly enough words in the English language to thank each of them for all they’ve done for me… but I’ll try. 

To Adams Hall, when I first moved into my dorm on August 25th, 2017 I was absolutely scared out of my mind. Going away to college once was a lot to handle… but twice! I didn’t think I could do it. Thankfully, room 143 blessed me with the absolute best roommate a girl could ask for and to this day is still one of my closest friends. Although we didn’t talk much junior year [no thanks to either of us], I’m so glad we rekindled our friendship senior year because a friend like Olivia only comes once in a lifetime. If I ever need a late night run to Walmart for a fish or to find a roomie if I ever move to LA, Olivia is my girl. Thank you Adams Hall. 

To the Patton College of Education, I never knew if I wanted to be a teacher… If I’m being honest, I’m still not 100% sure and now I have a degree! Nevertheless, you gave me some of the best professors and classmates to prepare me to become a teacher. Anna, Paige, Sara, and Maddie were the biggest help in getting me across this finish line. Long nights of group projects, studying for exams, and the longest portfolios ever were made possible because of these people. Anne Scott, however, is the real reason I’m ready to be a teacher. No one has ever believed in me the way Anne does. She is a gift to this university and I’m so fortunate to have met her. Thank you PCOE.

To McCracken Hall, some of my latest nights were spent here. As much as I hate to admit that, they were. Thank you for being arguably the best and nicest building on campus with the best study rooms which definitely got their use out of me. I’m glad to never use one again, but I appreciated the resource when I needed it. Thank you McCracken Hall. 

To the Office of Global Opportunities, most college students don’t get to study abroad once, let alone twice. I’m forever grateful for both my Spain trip as well as the COST program and learned more about myself and the world abroad than I ever did in any classroom. Thank you for giving me Mary, Allyssa, Kayla, Rory, Alejo, and so many others. You don’t meet people as good as them very often. Thank you OGO.

To Donkey Coffee, I spent a lot more time here than I ever did in any class [or anywhere for that matter]. From CHAARG coffee dates, to Sunday study seshes with my gorls, and even first dates, you were always there with a red iced tea and a vegan chocolate cherry cookie when I needed one. I’ll be back one last time to spend all my donkey points 🙂 Thank you Donkey Coffee.

To Boyd Market, I mean… where do I even begin? I met some of my best friends through this on-campus job that I only applied to because OU claimed it was the most vegan friendly place on campus. Some of my best times were spent inside of Boyd Market from finding dead birds behind Smooth Moves, writing the newsletter, making Tik Toks, register 1 tea parties, and of course WORKING [on occasion]. I never would have met my Boyd bestie Olivia, which would have meant I would have been drunk a significantly less amount than I was. To the Boyd student leaders, thank you for welcoming me into the group, always being down to hear gossip, making Tik Toks, taking pictures, and going to  PigSkin and Overhang. I’m forever grateful for all of you. Thanks BM 😉

To CHAARG, thank you for saving my life. I was in a terrible place when I got to OU and you really helped me get out of it. Not necessarily by yourself, but by giving me mental health resources, my best friends in the entire world, and an all around lovely [usually] community to send wine drunk videos in the group chat or make fun of myself whenever deemed necessary. Thank you for teaching me how to be a leader and deal with shitty people. Thank you for teaching me how to take a stand for what I believe in and to never back down. I am who I am today largely due to CHAARG and I’m forever indebted to this wonderful org. Thank you CHAARG. 

To 14M, the best apartment and roomie combo you could ever have hoped for. I treasure our nights spent in the living room watching The Good Place [much to Liz’ shagrin], listening to our good vibe playlists, and our Homecoming and Santa Fest gatherings. I wish we could have built the gingerbread houses. Sorry I spoke to the ceiling in Spanish 😉 Liz and Anna, I love you both. 14M, keep the next gen girls in good hands. [also I included Kelsey in this section and you know why hehe].

 

To my gorls, I know we all aren’t the closest right now, but that doesn’t change how much each of you mean to me. All five of you helped me make it through college in one piece thanks to our donkey dates, Biddle study nights, every CHAARG event, post CHAARG dins at Shively, the choffice, and Harbour the Band concerts. Kenzie, I’m so excited for you to go to LA and make it big in the film industry. Don’t forget me when you’re famous. Jess, you’re going to be the best journalist to walk this planet and I’m glad you’re following your dreams and not going to Law school rn. There’s always time to be Elle Woods another time 😉 Hannah, you are one of the most kind and beautiful souls I know and I’m honestly honored to be your friend. I’m so proud that you’re graduating a semester early and I know no matter where you end up, you’ll succeed at whatever you do. Grace, oh Grace, I’m sorry I didn’t follow you back when we were bolt babes lol but look at us now! I’m so proud to be your friend and to cheer you on from the sideline for all of your victories from LVNG Limitess, By Her For Her, BackDrop, Cincy Mag, and whatever else along the way that you take on. You’re going to be a phenomenal journalist and I can’t wait to keep reading everything you write. Finally, Sami, I’m not too sure what happened to us but I’ll always consider you one of the best friends I’ve ever had. From bonding over One Direction, to you being in my small group, to getting a job at Boyd and everything that went with that, I’m always glad that I was in your life for at least a bit, even if that’s over [I honestly don’t know if it is l o l]. I love all five of you with my whole heart and I’ll never forget any of you. Much love for my gorls. 

Finally to Athens Ohio, five semesters in the best city is not nearly enough. Thank you for packing my five semesters full of great people, places, and memories. Athens has truly shaped me into who I am today and I would be nowehere without at least one of the things I mentioned above. Although my time in Athens is coming to a close, I’m fully prepared for wherever the wind takes me. Thank you for that, Athens. 

 

Much love, Alicia

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