Because I graduate from Lehigh in under a month, I have been getting a lot of questions about my time throughout the past four years.
The No. 1 question that I get from people is, “So, are you excited?”
And to be quite frank, I am. I am really excited to graduate. I accepted a job in sports, and if anyone has read any of my stories throughout my time writing for The Brown and White, they would know that working in sports has been my dream since day one.
But I am also a little sentimental.
Lehigh has been my home for the past 21 years. You may be wondering, “Why 21?” since I’ve only been enrolled for four years, so let me explain:
I am a triplet and my brothers and I were born at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill, which is only about a mile away from campus. Once I was old enough, my brothers and I attended the Lehigh University Child Care Center.
We were members of the Lehigh family before we even truly knew what the Lehigh family was.
We grew up attending hundreds of sporting events and I was the ball girl for the Lehigh women’s basketball team.
When I grew too old to be a ball girl, I started working events for Lehigh Sports. I would often help run the shot clock at lacrosse games, work parking for numerous events and a whole lot more.
Once it came time to look at colleges, I never wanted to go to Lehigh. I wanted to pave my own path. I was looking at schools in California and ones a whole lot farther than Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
But, living so close to Lehigh’s campus, my parents wanted my brothers and me to take a tour. So, five years ago, on Good Friday, we took a tour and I knew Lehigh was where I wanted to go.
I would do everything in my power for the next year so that I could.
Dec. 16, 2017 is a day I will never forget. I knew that Lehigh’s admission decisions were being released soon. With no backup plan if I didn’t get in, I was extremely nervous. It was Lehigh or bust for me.
Once I finally received the decision, I worked up the courage to open it and saw that I was accepted. I cried tears of joy.
The beginning of my freshman year was the best. I had the time of my life. I was on the track team, I had friends and I was taking interesting classes. But then, things went south.
On March 18, 2019, I was cut from the track team. I remember crying for hours that night feeling so alone and feeling like I would lose all my friends.
When it came time to return to campus for sophomore year, I didn’t want to go. I spent the whole summer worrying about what I would do for the next three years. Sports have been my identity my whole life, and that was taken from me.
When classes started that year, I was a mess. I remember crying in classes, deleting social media because I was sad seeing others happy, not knowing why they were, since I was so miserable.
I didn’t know it at the time, but the reason for all of this was that I was depressed. I attended therapy, and I want to give a major shoutout to Lehigh’s Counseling Services because I honestly don’t think I would be here today without them.
Things were looking up. I joined The Brown and White. I was starting to write about sports. Classes were going better than they had been, and then we were sent home because of COVID-19.
Going to college during a pandemic was definitely not on my bucket list, but then again, I don’t think it was for anyone.
We continued to be online for the entirety of my junior year, which was not ideal, but to be honest, I had some of the best moments of my entire college experience online. I got to cover over 40 games during a worldwide pandemic. I covered all but two of the Lehigh women’s basketball games that year, which was the team I was most familiar with ever since I was a ball girl. I even got to attend March Madness and cover their game against West Virginia.
For my senior year, I had high expectations. This would be the last year at the place and city I grew up in, and I wanted it to be the best year. Since I only have two weeks of class left, I can say I really enjoyed senior year. It’s the closure I needed for my college experience. I was able to continue writing for The Brown and White while also being an intern for Lehigh Sports throughout the entire year.
In 27 days, I will walk the stage with my brothers, and I am ready to embark on a new journey. I had the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows here, but Lehigh will forever mean the world to me. It’s a special place with very special people.
Once a Hawk, always a Hawk.