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Friday, September 16, 2011

Full Circle

Almost one year ago, I watched my dad heroically lug my entire life in boxes up three flights of stairs to my first dorm room at Emory. The weather must have known it was a particularly special day for us anxious freshmen and our nerve-wracked parents and decided to give us the warmest welcome possible (quite literally).

I can still see my little brother sprawled across my new mattress fanning himself, tuning out my Mom as she tried to justify that attending conflicting information sessions was indeed necessary.

But only a few hours later, we found ourselves in the shade of sprawling tents on McDonough Field, devouring the best food I’ve yet to eat at Emory and meeting other members of the class of 2014.

The Coke Toast that afternoon was the first time our entire class gathered together, all of us nervous and excited, each with our own posse of equally anxious relatives. We were congratulated on all our accomplishments that had led us to this school and we celebrated what was to come. No one had told me to save that Coke bottle for good luck, though I often regret not slipping it into my pocket.

Sitting in Glenn Memorial yesterday evening, all I could think about as I waited for the Sophomore Pinning Ceremony to begin was that afternoon last August. Once again, my class was gathered together, this time donning business clothes with friends and roommates in tow instead of family.

But as we walked up to the stage in single file to shake hands with alumni and receive our pins, I had to smile. We still didn’t completely look like we knew what we were doing, but I was a lot more convinced about that than I was at Songfest!

I think Dirk Brown said it best with his closing remarks: “Emory is yours, and it will always be yours. And the freshmen just came and it is now theirs. But that’s the point - it’s ours. Emory will always be ours.”

I hadn’t realized what a short amount of time I’d spent here before I knew without question that he was right.

My pin now sits on my roommate’s desk next to her Coke Toast bottle. “The wise heart seeks knowledge,” the tiny gold seal reads.

I plan to keep it there as a challenge, and a reminder.

-- Liz Speyer, EAA communications intern

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