When you graduate from high school, all your friends’ parents and relatives tell you how college will be the best time of your life. They tell you to stay as long as you can and to enjoy every second of it. You don’t understand why they stress it to you so much until you’re about to leave.
In college, you have ups and downs. You lose touch with friends, make mistakes, get your heart broken and have too much to drink, but you make new friends, you learn, you move on and you build a tolerance.
I never thought I’d end up at Slippery Rock and I never thought I’d be sad to leave. The past four years have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride and I would go back and do it all again if I could.
Despite an old coach putting the program through a lot of stress, I’ll always look back on Rock cheer and smile. I’m proud to say I was able to do the “boom, boom, clap” before the Rock cheer started at Nationals, it’s a shame that tradition went away. My body will not miss the fatigue of “Hell Month” but I’ll miss everything else about it. You work so hard with a group of people and the longer you’re together, the more they become your family. Big Steve always knew when you needed a break, Cougar was there to remind you to relax and stop thinking and when a coach said “one more time”, it never meant one more time, it meant seven more times. When you finally got the chance to be “lost in Japan”, it was just as entertaining as you thought it’d be. I will miss being a part of such an amazing program so much.
Getting involved with The Rocket was single-handedly the best decision I could’ve made to get started on my career path. The opportunities I’ve been able to capitalize on are irreplaceable. I will never be able to thank the people I’ve worked with enough for how they’ve helped me grow as a professional. One day, I hope to make you all proud.
I’m currently working on a video that highlights the past four years of my life and it’s helped me to see how much I’ve grown as a person. Going back through all the pictures and videos is extremely bittersweet. So much has changed but so much has stayed the same.
The people I’ve met over the years have really made an impact on my life. Some of us have been through hell together. I don’t know if we could’ve made it on our own but we never had to chance that, because we had each other. We’ve had to say goodbye to too many of our friends far too early, but together, we keep their memories alive.
I’ll never forget the candle ceremony held on campus for Jack Hill Jr., seeing Derek Durand’s football ring on his hand or the chills I’d get every time the football team would carry out Zach Sheridan’s jersey before the game. Those people, good people, will never be forgotten.
As we prepare for the next chapter in our lives, I know that I can count on my Rock family to be there. We don’t have to talk every day, but we know we’ll be there for each other.
Farewell SRU, it’s been real.