Isn’t That The Place Where… 4.16.07

I can almost guarantee you that every Virginia Tech student, current or alumni, has been asked the question “Isn’t that the school where the shooting happened?” at least once in their lives when they tell someone where they are currently attending or where they previously attended college.

I know I’ve been asked that question more times than I remember. I’m never sure what kind of response people are expecting to hear. I know that they can’t understand from my point of view because they’ll never know what Virginia Tech truly encompasses. It’s hard for people on the outside to understand the feeling of relief after stepping onto campus in the fall after being away for months. As an insider, I have to remind myself that what I experienced as a Virginia Tech Hokie is something too beautiful, rare, and unique to make sense to someone who hasn’t experienced it.

So when I am asked that question in the future, instead I will stop them short at “Isn’t that the place where–” and say this:

“Yes. It is the place I called home for 4 amazing years. It’s the place I met incredible, smart and beautiful people inside and out, some of whom I still consider my closest friends. Those people I called family while I was there. Yes, it is the place where I truly felt myself. Where I could be silly, weird, adventurous and feel completely alive with a group of people who always brought the fun to the party. Where I got to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and carefree Fridays with people who constantly put a smile on my face and rhythm in my steps. Yes, it is the place I learned more about myself than I thought possible. Where I grew, matured and experienced love, loss, failure and success. Yes, it is the place with the most loyal college fan base you will ever know. The place with Enter Sandman blasting throughout the town on Saturday, the stadium pulsing as feet jump up and down in the stands as our football team charges the field. Yes, it is the place where we truly know the meaning of tailgating, whether it’s 8 PM or 8 AM. Yes, it is the place with the best mascot across the board. Yes, it is the place that allows me to brag about being a part of the #1 Relay For Life in the country, raising money and awareness for cancer research, survivors and honoring those we’ve lost. Yes, it is the place where the campus and the people on it are known as an extremely tight knit community, always looking out for one another, always supporting one another. It’s the place where four generations of my family came and left as Hokies—maroon and orange flowing throughout our family tree. Yes, it is the place that I will continue to call my second home. The place that I will always hold dear to my heart. It’s the place that always gives me an overwhelming feeling of love whenever I come back visit. It’s the place that makes me proud of who I am, where I come from and where I’m going.”

That’s what I’m going to say, because that is what I want people to think of when they hear the words: Virginia Tech.

I want people to know that I chose Virginia Tech for a reason. I chose it as my home for four years because I knew I would find family there. I knew that I would  learn, succeed, grow, laugh and love there.I knew that while I welcomed the school with open arms, it would also return the gesture.

From the outside you can’t see it, but the students and professors on Virginia Tech’s campus and its alumni across the world support one another every single day, in so many different capacities. But on this day each year, April 16th, we all gravitate a little closer to one another. We hug a little longer, pray a little harder and feel a lot deeper together. I know that we will always live for the 32 and that we will always remember the loss and hurt that were felt and the tears that were shed that day and every year since. But I hope that people around the world who only see us from the outside looking in and ask us only about the negative will now be able to see what we see from an inside perspective, and be more inclined to ask us about the good.

Spotlight Saturday: An Unlikely Friendship

If you haven’t seen this story yet, you definitely need to! It’s gone viral within the past week of so, and for such a great reason. 

A 330 lb professional power lifter has become best friends with a 12 year old girl with a rare genetic disorder: progeria. 

  
Such an unlikely friendship evolved and a picture showing their special bond went viral. 

  
 He says that she has helped pull him out of rough spots in his life. While it seems that he has helped her stay strong in a body that is only working at making her weaker. 

 People looked at me as strong when everything about her was stronger-David Douglas 💪🏼

If you want a story that warms your heart: read the full thing here: http://aplus.com/a/david-beast-douglas-lindsay-ratcliffe

Spotlight Saturday: Corporate Angel Network

 

Read this article and learned about a great mission set out and accomplished by the Corporate Angel Network. 

They are a charitable organization that helps cancer patients by arranging free travel across the country using empty seats on corporate jets, in order for the patients to have access to the best possible treatment for their specific type of cancer ✈️

Eligibility is not based on financial need or how often you need to travel. It is open to ALL cancer patients. How freakin awesome is that?💖

 I feel like there are a large number of CEO’s in America who are solely money hungry💰 (maybe I’m stereotyping) so it is so heartwarming and refreshing to see a group of people use some of their major wealth for a greater cause! 💸✨☄ 

Check out their website! www.corpangelnetwork.org 👼🏼

Spotlight Saturday: A Bill To Financially Assist Families Who Care For People With Disabilities 

  
This is something that family caregivers of people wth disabilities truly need and deserve. 

Even though they’re family, and they care for their loved ones due to their love for them, they too need help along the way. Caring for someone with a disability is hard. Not to say people aren’t happy to do it, but it can be emotionally taxing, hard on relationships and not to mention extremely and ridiculously expensive. 

Hopefully this bill passes because it would really help people deserving of a helping hand. 

Spotlight Saturday: Describing What It Feels Like To Have An Invisible Illness 

  
Again, the mighty site does a superb job at sharing stories that raises awareness along with supporting people with disabilities and illnesses. This piece has people describe what it feels like to have an invisible illness. As a person who has an invisible illness myself, I know how hard it can be to describe to others and how hard it is for some of my friends and family to understand how I feel. This piece does a great job at helping spoonies feel like they’re not alone while also helping others understand a little bit more about how it feels to be someone suffering from invisible illness. 

Click on the link below to give it a full read! 

Describing What It Feels Like To Have An Invisible Illness