The sun is rising over a sea of love and waffles and possibility

I’m either currently in, or poised to enter post-grad limbo, depending on your participle of choice. After walking at graduation, the fancy new video board in Cassell read something like, “Congrats Class of 2013!” So I turned to take a picture, thinking it’d be a nice way to capture the moment. This is what I got.

Symbolically kicking off my life as a graduate: upside-down, blurry and completely incoherent. But I actually was able to pick up all my spaghetti and get my life together rather quickly.

The night after graduation I poetically ended my time as a writer for the Collegiate Times by covering the Virginia Tech-VCU game at the Richmond Coliseum. If it were anything like my college decision, VCU would’ve hopped out to an early lead, only for Tech to storm back before stealing a victory as time ran out. Instead, VCU opened the game with a 31-0 run en route to battering Tech, among every other Virginia school last season. Regardless, it was really cool to watch the two colleges I went to from press row.

A week after that I started interning at RVA Magazine. The first slide of the welcome presentation just wrote “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate,” which translates to “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” It’s been a joy working and writing for them in Richmond, and not at all like living Dante’s Inferno. I owe Brad, Andrew, Tony and everyone else at RVA Mag a huge thanks for the opportunity. Thanks to them I’ve been able to diversify my writing like crazy, break a story on my own for the first time ever, learn the nuts and bolts of reporting, and even model for American Apparel. They’ve helped me cross so many things off my bucket list, and for that I’m forever grateful.

Shortly after that, I picked up a job as a valet out in the West End. Not the most glamorous job but it’s far from being a poopsmith, and it’s helped me fund so, so many poor sneaker-buying decisions. After that, I took a position maintaining a blog for VCU’s Department of Special Education and Disability Policy. You know how they say if you’re ever the smartest person in a room, it’s time to find a different room? I will never have to find a different room at this job. I owe Dr. Colleen Thoma a colossal thanks for trusting me to pioneer the position, and I wish I were around to see it through this summer.

It’s a bit of a weird feeling not being a student for the first time since the 1900’s, but I don’t feel too different from when I was a student. Not living within earshot of my best friends is the biggest bummer, though hanging out with this little weirdo all the time has been pretty great.

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Maybe I should stop using semesters as a time frame of reference, but this spring semester has been a ton of fun. There’s no one I’d rather cure hangovers at Joe’s Inn with than you guys, and I’ll always feel inclined to try to sing Mr. Jones whenever a karaoke machine lends the opportunity because of you goons. Playing Halo (but mostly goofing around) with Miles has been hysterical and the only reason I haven’t been going temporarily insane on weeknights.

Now, I’m so, so close to dipping my tire in the Atlantic up in Bay Harbor, Maine with Bike the US for MS, and my goodness has this crept up on me. Fundraising has challenged me in ways I’ve never been before, but it’s as rewarding as anything I’ve done. It feels a bit surreal right now — the idea I’ll be riding across the country not only for a great cause, but also with two of my best friends (You should absolutely donate to Joe and Drew!). I’ll be posting on here as much as possible along the way, and I promise to post plenty embarrassing photos of all three of us.

I haven’t been this excited about something since when I first went to Woodward in like ninth grade. After nearly having an emotional episode as I swiped away more money than I ever have before on a beautiful, brand new Cannondale Synapse, buying all the other ancillary gear has really given the trip a feeling of realism. Yeah, I signed up for this months ago, but it’s not until now that it feels like it’s actually happening.

A memorable pantomime at beautiful Hilton Head, a much-needed return to Blacksburg, graduation parties aplenty, and bittersweet hugs and goodbyes. These things, a proper sendoff maketh. And a proper sendoff I’ve had.

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