This is not a column. This is a toast.

A toast to my parents, for allowing the Sorting Hat to place me in the Department of Communication. Thank you for having faith in my passion for creativity, my desire to entertain, and my ability (read: highly abused power) to talk my way through anything. I know my dad still thinks I’m going to be a newscaster — at this point, I just go with it — but Mom and Dad, I am forever grateful to you for letting me live my dream.

To the AcaBellas, for being my haven and my creative outlet. Thank you for understanding and tolerating my peculiar (and sometimes hostile) way of making music. Confession: I totally lied in my audition back in 2009 when I said I could read music. I DON’T TAKE IT BACK. Because I became an AcaBella and helped recreate a fantastic singing group where I not only met some of my best friends at Trinity, but I also managed to arrange more than 30 a cappella songs. I never would have tapped into my musical witchcraft had I not pretended to know sheet music. Best lie I ever told. Keep singing, ladies.

To Zeta Chi, for being my crazy family. You took me in just as I was, you celebrated me and you helped me develop a true sense of self-appreciation. I don’t think I’ll come across unique women like you ever again in my lifetime. I’ve been so proud to wear our letters around campus knowing that they represent a group of passionate, fun, witty, independent, free-spirited, intelligent and strong women. Please stay united and continue to spread the rainbow lovin’. Be proud of who you are and always be sorry that you’re not sorry.

To Adan Gonzalez, for dating my cousin six years ago and awkwardly approaching me at Trinity 360 because I “looked familiar” — you weirdo. You’ve always inspired me, and you’ve been the most consistent and compassionate friend I’ve ever had. I’ve enjoyed shouting in Spanish with you, writing movies with you, and there’s nobody I’d rather make music with – except for maybe Beyonce. I’m glad you ended up not marrying my cousin or anything like that, but no matter what, you’ll always be family to me.

To Professor Kelly Gray Carlisle, for helping me realize my true potential as a writer. Thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone and for breaking me of churning out the same material. You created a nurturing environment for all us “creative slacker types” in Advanced Nonfiction Writing. You allowed us all to be our quirky, disheveled selves and we were able to establish a sense of closeness that really helped our critique sessions. While I don’t think  I’ll ever lose that languid swagger as a creative person, you’ve inspired me to basically get over myself. You’ve been a true mentor and I’ve learned a hell of a lot from you.

To Dean Tuttle: Deep down, I know you love me. Don’t try to fight it anymore. It’s okay.

So, friends – as we come to a close, I have realized a few things. I’ve certainly had my moments of shame: I got Senior Roasted and had all my drunk texts read aloud in front of my peers, Dean Tuttle and my mother. I accidentally deleted half of a movie I had been working on for over a year. I wore a panda hat to my Business Stats final so that maybe Dr. Burr would think I was too cute to fail. I beat-boxed for the first time on a Happy Friday my freshman year (I had no idea what I was doing) and I still can’t destroy the video evidence. I completely messed up one of my lines on opening night of Chelsea Taylor’s lab show and consequently made everybody think I was wasted.

I’ve also had my moments of triumph: I won Trinity Idol with my best friend. I won Spotlight with my AcaBellas. I won the Drag Show with my AcaFellas. I threw a banana at some guy in a corset while I was singing the intro song in Rocky Horror. I wrote and directed some First Year POT shows. I wrote and directed my own movie. I did an Alternative Spring Break trip. I perfected my Dr. Balbert impersonation. I got to steal Aramark enchiladas from President Ahlburg’s house.

All considering, my final toast is to you, Trinity (Note: I am absolutely drinking champagne as I write this). Spending four years of my life between the red bricks has made me realize what I’m capable of. No, not murder — but great things. My experience here has made me believe that I can truly accomplish anything, I can pursue any of my passions, I can troll as hard as I want and I know I’ll be happy. I can finally sign a brick in the tower, walk the stage and be proud of my Alma Mater because this has been the most cherished, fruitful chapter of my life thus far. Whatever I end up doing with my life —whether it’s making TV shows, making music, being a mother, writing comedy, or being some lost soul on E! True Hollywood Story – I will do it with pride and with gusto, and I know my life wouldn’t have been the same had I not realized that Trinity was where I needed to plant my roots and grow.

That was a long toast. Now guzzle.

Kendra was a member of Zeta Chi Sorority and Acaebellas. She will be graduating from Trinity with degrees in English and Communication.