RCB Senior Speech
Tonight was terrifying, but I’m so glad I got to present a sliver of my feelings to very important people in my life. I am still in shock that I received an opportunity to present a speech tonight— I never thought I would do something like this. Here is a copy of my speech, if anyone would like to read it. Thank you friends.
Good evening brothers, sisters, family. Before i get started, i want to wish everyone a Happy national parfait day, and if anyone wants to go get fro yo after this, I would be more than glad to go. I can’t believe that a small factual slip from my mind became such a gameday stretches tradition… But I guess that’s how the best ones start.
Anyways, I struggled writing this speech, not because I couldn’t figure out what to say, but because condensing everything I had to say about this organization into a two minute speech was practically a mental trainwreck for me.
But hey, Redcoats to me, put simply, means family. It’s not about being the most talented musician or going to football games for free, but instead, about the moments inbetween practicing, marching, and performing that reminds us that we are connected and that we love and care for one another. They are sometimes small, like a hug before practice when you’re having a rough day, a simple text to check up on each other, or letting your friend snuggle up in your car when it’s pouring outside, and especially the copious amounts of saying “I love you just so much” in Florida… Because we are of course just merely excited about kicking their ugly gator tails. I could spend the rest of the night talking about how enriching it is to see one another support each other, and all of tomorrow thanking my friends for picking me up when I’ve been down, and supporting me when I’m running after my crazy dreams. And literally I mean running…. Looking down at my phone to change a song at mile 17 while running this year’s Chicago Marathon and seeing it blow up with texts from my Redcoat family cheering me on gave me the strength to push through what was the hardest challenge I’ve taken on in college, and perhaps my life. I could not be happier to tell y’all that I wore my Redcoat shorts and a Georgia shirt with pride, and to say that the encouragement y’all gave me helped me accomplish a dream I thought was impossible. And it’s not just with myself, it’s with everyone. They way we rush to like a friends status when they do well on a test, get into grad school, or even a new job offer… And especially when one of us makes it on the homecoming court… It inspires me and rehumanizes me. And it gives me faith in humanity that there are still good people left in this world, and that I’m lucky enough to have spent the past 4 years amongst the best of them.
But I know I would be letting yall down if i didn’t talk about one of my favorite things ever.. so my friends, Being a Redcoat is like making a tie dye shirt. The amount of attention, effort, and dedication put into making the shirt reflects how colorful and bright it will be when you unravel it. Redcoats is no different: the more focus you put into playing your instrument with pride, cultivating friendships with acts of kindness and support, and energizing your spirit in every step you take, the more outstanding, unforgettable, and extraordinary the experience of unraveling a pregame, halftime show, and senior day Glory on the Super G in Sanford Stadium will be. Yesterday, I felt flooded with so much light playing glory one last time in Sanford, and seniors, I hope you felt bright as well & that yesterday was everything you dreamed senior day being. Continuing with my rainbow analogy… The rubber bands that tie the shirt in place represent our leadership and staff: if you tie a shirt too loosely, the pattern can’t form. But if you tie the shirt too tightly, the bands snap on your fingers, and the whole shirt falls apart. I believe our staff and leadership do a great job of being a perfect balance between controlling & loosening the grip: they let us get the work done so we look great performing, but also let us have fun too… Because if we didn’t enjoy being here, explain to me why you would wake up at 5am on a Saturday gameday… Habitually. Thank you for keeping me in check, but also helping me grow into this organization gracefully and enjoy it. But finally, what would a tie dye shirt be without a variety of color and patterns? I have tie dyed with many people, and I have yet to meet someone who says, “you know, I really don’t want to use many colors… I’m going to delicately make this shirt with just one color.” No, we get as many colors as possible and soak the mess out of that shirt in hopes of creating a masterpiece. And this is one of my favorites part about redcoats: the variety of people. The best part of this season for me was venturing out of my own comfort zone, and making unexpected & new friendships with people I previously didn’t know as well. I learned that in the end, it doesn’t matter whether you wear letters, a red blazer, a black coat, or tie dye every tuesday, whatever: we are all united by the mere fact that we love the Dawgs, we love UGA, we love Athens, and we love music… And we have a lot more in common with one another than we may think. So don’t be afraid to mix, blend, and meet new friends despite a few outward differences: the brightest and most beautiful tie dyed shirts come from the most unexpected combination of colors. And if you don’t fully immerse yourself in this organization, the happiness gained will just fade with time. The truth is, this organization is going to outlast everyone in this room… Only if we continue to nurture it with love and dedication. So just like soaking a shirt with an abundance of dye, soak yourself in redcoats, and you’ll create memories and happiness that stay vibrant for years to come.
I hope you enjoyed my colorful analogy.. Some parting words. I saw a tweet from UberFacts that said that friendships end every 5 to 7 years. I believe that Redcoat friendships are the exception: we practice, endure, and perform together as a family, which forms a strong bond amongst us that’s hard to break. So seniors, don’t fret. I am a firm believer in the saying “once a dawg, always a dawg, how sweet it is” and with the abundance of social media, your family is a click, tweet, message, or email a way, and you
can pick up right where you left off in athens as easily as dialing your buddy’s number. Underclassman, I can’t stress enough to you the importance of living your life to the fullest while in this organization. Don’t be afraid to make a new friend, just go up and say hello. Take too many pictures, because one day, you’re going to be turning in your uniform for the last time, and wishing you could have taken more. And when performing, do it with complete pride, and let the cheers from the audience brighten you in ways you’ll never forget and will leave a lasting impression in your heart… They say that the cracked are blessed, for they let in the light. So open your soul up and enjoy every moment of being a part of something that is more greater than understandable.
I’m so glad I have just a sliver of daylight left to spend with y’all in this season. It will be the warm light in the following winter days to come.
And finally, thank you everyone for being the family I dreamed of having in college, and making someone as quirky and strange as me, feel welcomed and at home. The colorful memories you all have painted in my mind won’t fade with time, but instead, will grow brighter as I live to tell my Redcoat stories, and how friends and family will pass down these tales time and time again. Thank you for making me feel infinite, and shine on you crazy diamonds. Goodnight.
I really need to start going to church again.
Tonight I went to a evolution and religion talk tonight for extra credit in my biology blass. I honestly didn’t want to go: my term paper is due tomorrow, I’d be missing the last Wind Ensemble concert of the semester, and I’m honestly just getting to that point of the semester where all I want to do is sit in my bed and eat nutella straight from the jar. But what was seemingly another task I had to push myself to get through, ended up being kind of the wake up call that I’ve been hitting the snooze button since I’ve come to colllege. I have a lot of questions about my faith in both God and in evolution that I still need answered. I need to pick up a Bible, research some current findings on evolution, and find a comfortable medium which I can live with. It is nice to have nights that inspire you to think about the deeper issues in life like these, and I wish they occured more often.
I just found out that my pet bird Sunny passed on. We had her for 16 years and we loved that bird. To say that I don’t want to do a single thing today is literally an understatement. I miss you, Sunny, I’m so sorry I couldn’t say goodbye to you in person.
It’s time to move on, and really mean it.
The range of really great things and really bad things that have happened this week will throw me into an emotional coma. I need stability.
Going for a run
I ran my first marathon yesterday.
This picture was taken approx 30 minutes after I crossed the finish line. My whole family could not stop crying, and people just couldn’t stop saying congratulations. It was beautiful.
I truly understand what the meaning of “spirit of the marathon” means now. Anyone can go out and run 26.2 miles if properly trained. But there is magic in the race, in the course, amongst the runners, and the cheering fans (1.4 million) that line up along the way. It’s how all these components come together, and after years of training, and help each runner embark from the start line in fear and guide them to the finish line with hope.
This experience was everything I expected, and even more than I imagined and could ever describe. I am so completely thankful for my friends and family that supported me and believed in me. I never thought I could run a marathon. Actually, I never thought I could really do much of anything athletic. But since I have come to college, I have gained 25 pounds of weight and developed a much healthier life style. And an appreciation for fitness and the desire to pursue dreams I once previously perceived being impossible to make come true.
But mostly, it’s the support from loved ones that make you want to finish when your legs are breaking down at mile 18, and you’ve still got 8 more miles to go. It’s knowing how you will make them proud and that you won’t let them down, even if you have to slow to a jogging pace for a little bit. It’s not quitting, and choosing to accept 2 more hours of pain for a lifetime of glory instead stopping and living with a lifetime of regret. I can’t bend my legs and I’m completely fatigued, but I’m going to recover, and live to tell my story. I might even sign up for New York, Chicago again, and attempt to quality for Boston.
But mostly, it’s crossing the finish line, and feeling infinite.
Thank you Chicago Marathon and thank you friends and family for making me feel infinite.