I come to you today with a full and heavy heart. As some of you may have noticed or figured out, while I’ve still been around on the blog, I have recently not been in Huntington or at the Marshall Rec Center.
Almost exactly two months ago I decided to take a big step in my life, and I moved from Huntington down to Charlotte, N.C. While this time has been a huge learning and transition period for me, I have decided that in regards to the beloved MRC blog, it is time to pass the torch. Even though I am leaving you in some very capable hands
(Michele, Alison, and other Rec writers are the bomb if you haven’t noticed), I didn’t want to say my final see you laters without sharing how special my time in Huntington and at the Rec has been (you can’t get rid of me yet!).
From the Big Pink Volleyball Tournament!
I still remember my first day at Marshall, not knowing a single person when I moved into Buskirk Hall, with the exception of the few emails and Facebook messages that I had exchanged with my freshman year roommate. I was a lot of things- young, terrified, and excited for the potential of the future. While of those three things I was mostly terrified, I was determined to make the most of time at Marshall, no matter how long that time would be. Almost seven years later (undergrad AND grad) I can safely say that I did. There is absolutely nothing that I would exchange for my time at Marshall. It helped me grow into the person that I am today, and I’ve learned more than I could have ever imagined, both in and out of the classroom.
Huntington is different from a lot of places, there is really nothing like it. Yes, there are plenty of college towns out there that are flooded with tradition and history, but even still there is something that sets it apart. Here, there is an undeniable and unshakeable sense of tradition, community, and family, and once it takes hold of you it will never let you go. I won’t deny that at certain points, living in Huntington felt like living in a crazy bubble, and I know a lot of people would agree with me saying that. But that’s why you love it, and sometimes that’s why you don’t love it as much, and that’s the truth. Even still, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Not only did I get an education, but I have made life long friendships and relationships that I literally cannot imagine my life without, and to me that is truly priceless. I’m not done growing, but if I take a second to think about who I am and where I am, I am exactly who and where I want to be at this moment in time, and a large part of that is because of Marshall, The Rec, and Huntington. If I think about it long enough, I could honestly cry. I don’t care, sometimes I tear up and get chills during Kate Mara’s opening line of We Are Marshall:
“In the middle of Huntington, WV there is a river, next to this river there is a steel mill, and next to this steel mill there is a school, in the middle of this school there is a fountain…”
But I love my school, and genuinely feel for other individuals that didn’t have the same type of experience that I did.
After one of the many CUT Classes!
I started working at the Rec my sophomore year of college. To this day I still remember sitting in Harless Dining Hall with dormmate, friend, and former co-worker, Morgan H., and reading the info display on our table while eating dinner. It was a simple flyer, informing us that the new Marshall Rec Center would be opening in Spring of 2009 (that next semester), and that they were hiring for a variety of positions. Both of us not only interested in health and fitness, but in need of jobs, decided to apply…and so begins the start of a wonderful adventure. Being an employee of the Rec taught me a lot about responsibility, hard work, and leadership- three things that are never handed to you in life, and for that I am forever grateful. I wish I could name and individually thank everyone that I’ve worked with and grown to love in my past five (+) years at the Rec, but between people that I’ve worked with, as well as our awesome patrons, it would easily take up twenty pages or more. Just know that you are all loved and appreciated.
Being able to write the blog was an even greater gift. During my past year and half in Huntington, it allowed me to see everything around me in ways that I didn’t always initially consider, even though I had previously spent five years in the town. My main hope is that through the blog (aside from learning about being healthy and fit) I have either been able to show you how special Huntington is, or you have learned to appreciate it in the same ways that I have.
Circa Holiday Party ’12
If I could give two pieces of advice to incoming freshman and current MU students it would be this:
First, Huntington is your oyster- it is there for you to learn as much as you breathe. It is not going to put a limit on you, the only limit will be the limit you put on yourself. If you allow it, you will learn so much more about yourself and about others, than you ever thought possible.
And secondly, be present, it’s going to go by so fast.
End of the Year Banquet ’13 with my main PT, Mo Khan (#winners)
I’ve never allowed myself to say goodbye to things (okay, the words “goodbye” have literally come out of my mouth before but that’s not the point), it’s never goodbye, it’s always see you later. I will see Huntington, Marshall, and everyone and everything that I love about it again soon, and until then I will move ever forward and cherish fondly the memories that I have made.
I will continue writing at my very (very) new blog, Skinny Fingers. It is still in it’s early stages, but I plan to keep the same kind of themes and attitudes going, now just with some North Carolina flair…it’s all only the beginning, and I’m excited about where life is taking me. I thank you, Marshall, The Rec, and Huntington, for impacting my life in the way that you have, because I would not be who I am now without you.
It’s cheezy, I know, but much like one of the university’s most recent campaigns, going to Marshall was really the Best. Decision. Ever. When I think about all of the ways that being a daughter of Marshall has influenced my life, I couldn’t put it better myself. So once again, it’s not goodbye, but see you all later on.