Live your own experience and love all you do

There are two things that I am going to miss the most when I graduate, the first is cross-country and the second is doing weird things with my friends. I’m going to miss waking up before dawn and seeing some of my favorite people. The girls I got to step up to the start line with made every early morning, every sacrificed Friday night, and every painful mile repeat completely worth it. One of our greatest team victories, the first SCAC perfect score, was one of the best days of my life. I’ll never forget the pure joy I felt crossing the finish line and hugging my teammates. That’s a day the five of us will remember for the rest of our lives.

I don’t think I could have made it through these past four years without my non-runner friends. It was always nice to look up from the start lines and see my roommates standing there in their cross-country shirts. They never cared how I ran, they just wanted me to be happy with my performance. At times during the past four years, I really needed that perspective.

My brother, a freshman in college, hears me talk about college and my everyday life and he thinks I’m “wasting my experience.” To him nothing could be worse than being apart of a team that requires 6 a.m. wake up followed by 6-10 miles of running. When I told him that I study weeks before exams, he thought I was exaggerating. His reaction was even more dramatic when I told him about the hours of research I put in every week. The thought of living on campus for three years was so appalling to him, he wondered how I could stand going to “a school like that.” He, like a lot of other people, thinks about my scheduled Trinity student life and assumes that I am miserable.

He could not be more wrong. I’ve learned to love my Trinity life. I love waking up at 6 a.m. because I leave my house with a purpose. I meet up with some of my favorite gals to work towards our goals. They’ve always made running feel worth it. I love doing research because I feel a sense of personal ownership over my experiments. I am fully invested in research that I genuinely care about and I appreciate the responsibility that goes along with that. I love staying in before races because it makes the nights I do go out that much better. I am so lucky to have friends who always understand that and can be spotted at all home races in their TUXC tshirts. I loved living on campus because I got to see my friends any time for any reason. Even though we lived with Trinity’s rules, we always found ways to make it fun. From shower kegs, to rat fishing, to the accuracy challenge, some of my best memories took place inside those red brick buildings.

My life for the past four year years has been so scheduled, but it has never been boring. I have my friends, my teammates and my professors to thank for that. My advice to all of the underclassmen, is just to enjoy everything that you do. Don’t compare your experience to someone else’s. Just understand, that if what you’re doing makes you happy, then it’s worth it.