Countdown to Graduation: 13 Days
“Lately I’ve been losing sleep / Dreaming about the things that we could be.”
Thank you for being my home during my Freshman year of college.
There were many things I feared transitioning into college after being in my comfort zone for so many years. The experience I had living in the dorms was nothing like the movies or TV shows portrayed. Who would’ve thought that in the short nine months my hallmates and I would be together, Isengard wouldn’t just be yet another residence hall we were living in but our home.
It wasn’t always smooth-sailing for us, but that didn’t stop us from creating a place where we were all comfortable and accepting of the differences we had — especially in the aspect of identities. Because of Isengard, I learned that there is more to the LGBTQ Community than I already was aware of and the letters went beyond ‘L’ ‘G’ ‘B’ ’T’ and ‘Q.’ While I will never completely understand or identify what it means to be a part of or identify as a member of the community, I can say that I’ve learned what it means to be an ally.
Being in Isengard showed me a different kind of family. I was surrounded by people who felt the same struggle I did but chose not to let anything drown them. Living in Isengard also showed me that the difficulties I experienced in the previous years of schooling no longer existed and people were not after taking you down, but helping lift you up when you felt at your worst.
So Isengard, thank you for being my home. For being a place I can call home, and for being a place I can always look to and smile.
To Dom, my RA: I couldn’t have done a lot of what I did without you. I have never felt comfortable enough to cry in front of anyone, including my family. When things got tough, you let me sit in your room and let me cry to you. Beyond being my RA, you showed me friendship and you showed me family away from home. Even when you left for New York, it never felt like you left because you supported me as I continued my journey in college. Without fail, you were there for me even with a 3-hour time difference and nearly 3,000 miles. In the time you were able to visit at UCI, you made sure I got to see you. Thank you for always pushing me and believing in me that I would make it to my goal to be an RA.
To Danny: From Day 1, I was aware you weren’t my RA. That, however, didn’t stop you from being there for me and for finding ways to make me laugh or simply letting me vent to you about the things I was feeling or going through. There were many times where times felt too hard, but you told me that I could do it. You weren’t just another member on staff living in our hall, you were a friend who truly cared for not just me, but for everyone who came to you. From the very first time I needed a shoulder to cry on and someone to lean on until I became a part of Community Council, you were there. Thank you for being one of the biggest supporters in my life.
To Mama Alliey: You weren’t my RA, but you loved me like I was one of your own residents. The love you shared with your Aldor residents, Dom shared with us too. From being there at our first Hall Meeting to being there at our Hall Banquet, you always believed I was meant to be an RA, and for that I am eternally grateful. You didn’t know me the way Dom knew me, but you saw potential in what you did see and know me. Even when things got tough for me and I didn’t know how to deal with it, you were there. Until the time I became an RA, you continued to support me. Thank you for believing in me even when our interactions in person were so little; you still made me feel grand.
To my fellow Isengardians: Just because we no longer lived under the same roof or saw each other nearly everyday of our lives, I want to thank you always allowing me to feel that I always have a family. I am TREMENDOUSLY proud of all the things I have gotten to see over the years. Each one of you have found your niche and where your heart lies, and I am in awe of what successes you have gone to achieve. Not a day goes by where I am not proud to show that at the very least, I know of you. Continue to showcase your love for what you do.
With all my love,