I’m still not used to calling North Dakota State University my alma mater. As the weekend passed, I saw hundreds of photos and videos from students celebrating NDSU’s Homecoming, leaving me with a flurry of mixed emotions. Almost two months have passed since classes commenced and I’m still adjusting to the idea of not being forced into the next school year. Attending school the past 17 years of my life, I imagined a zillion times what it would be like to not have to go back to school. I’m finally in this moment and while I mostly feel relief, it’s hard not to reminisce.
The past four years at NDSU were an incredible experience. I never thought I would grow a love for Fargo but, somehow, it happened. It might not be for the city itself, but the people that make it Fargo. The love and support the Herd provided me in times of stress, hardship and just pure joy is incomprehensible. Thank you, NDSU.
Thank you for teaching me about people. The faculty and staff at NDSU that proved they were truly student focused. The student body that always came together – whether it was a Bison game or tragedy. The people who helped me up when I slipped on an invisible ice patch, the people that turned my credit cards into the copy shop when I lost them (thanks for all your hard work, Lauren) and the people who inspired me to make changes within myself.
Thank you for surrounding me with innovators and entrepreneurs. My first day of freshman year I was undecided on my major and had no idea what the word “entrepreneur” meant. I watched friends create revolutionary technology, start new businesses and venture down paths I could only dream about. Thank you for giving me the tools and opportunities to be anything I desire.
Thank you for showing me good friends. Of course I found a bunch of them my senior year but that’s Murphy’s law, right? The friends that took THREE 17 hour road trips with me down to Frisco. The people that made sure I got home safe after a night downtown. The people that love Christmas as much as I do and celebrate with me accordingly. The people that mentored me, encouraged me, listened to me and the people that held my hair back on Saturday night.
Thank you for showing me bad friends. From the girls that ditched me to the boys that were unapologetic assholes. I wouldn’t know what a good friend is like without experiencing a few bad ones. The people that insulted me, complained about everything, gossiped about me and the people that could suck the positive energy out of anything.
Thank you for forcing me to like beer – the drink that used to make me gag upon first whiff. You wouldn’t believe how many people I have impressed abroad each time I order a beer. NDSU is a dry campus but Fargo was still named the drunkest city in America. I mean we have to warm up from those -30 degree wind chill days somehow, right? From my first beer bong on spring break, to chugging a beer at 6 a.m. on College GameDay, to mug night at the Turf to my love/hate relationship with party buses. Receiving two minor in consumption charges in less than a year but never getting caught with my fake ID. Sometimes I’m not quite sure how I survived college.
To the people that introduced me to Student Government – truly incredible individuals.
To Fletcher – one of the greatest people to ever exist.
To the people who showed me the difference between party friends and real friends.
To my first love.
To Lauren – who never fails to put a smile on my face.
To the Turf.
To the Christmas Lover Friends.
To my mom – I made her worry way too much.
Thank you for teaching me about myself. All those experiences and memories – you were there for all of it. From all the shitty things I did to all the really awesome and inspiring things I did. You taught me I am human. I will make mistakes but won’t let them define me.
I’m living it up on the other side of the world now and I can’t help but miss the place I called home for the past four years – the Bison statue as you enter campus, the sunsets (although I’ve found New Zealand sunsets to be quite enjoyable), the Turf, Bike Share, the OB (not sure if I actually miss this), the Bison games, and of course, the Herd.
I’ll never forget the lessons I learned.
Thank you for the love, NDSU.