The End of the Beginning

Bittersweet. That is the perfect graduation word – although the g-word is banned from my apartment. What’s really the kicker is that it doesn’t just end my time at JMU, but also with the best organization I’ve been a part of in my college years.

Here it is, plain and simple. I love UPB. I have grown with this organization, first as a committee member and then as an executive council member. During my time on the board I have met some of the most memorable people I have come across at this university and I have left with some pretty wonderful best friends.

My favorite part of this experience has been the people. Without them it would not have been the same experience. This job is hard, that’s an understatement, and sometimes you have to stretch to reach your goals. One thing I knew all along was that no matter how far I stretched, my team would never let me fall over. We’ve lugged coolers full of water, been the sole supporters and groupies of our favorite band, carpooled, vented about our stresses, and just plain been there for each other. I have depended on them time and time again and for that, I cannot thank them enough.

It’s the end of this chapter, that’s for sure, but what will never escape me are the meaningful moments I’ve spent with some of the best. I know that I’ve learned so much from them this year, but not all of it has been directly related to event planning. This is why I love UPB. These are the good times. I’m holding on to this until I have to leave, but only if I’m hand-in-hand with my best friends.

UPBlove.

~Amy Remmer, Director of Special Events

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How to Survive Graduation When You’re Not Graduating

I have to admit, graduation this year is hitting me harder than ever before.  As I finish my junior year, I’m forced to say goodbye to two cousins and some of my closest friends.  Obviously, I’ve known this was coming.  I was happily able to ignore the inevitable though until January.  Since then, I’ve been implementing anti-dealing-with-graduation strategies that I feel may benefit those in a predicament similar to my own:

1. Establish rules for yourself and your graduating friends.  These are the ones I’ve found most helpful so far:

  • Ban the word “graduation”.  With the exception of the few times I’ve used it in this blog post, I have not said the G word since last semester.  I also banned my closest friends from using it as well.  It took some practice, but they’ve   gotten pretty good at it. (It goes without saying that any topics related to the G-word are banned as well.  For example: caps, gowns, future jobs, etc.)
  • Prohibit Vitamin C’s song “Graduation (Friends Forever)” from being played in your presence, also Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”.
    • (I’m providing the link only as a reference point, listen at your own risk.)

2. Warn your friends/family that if they plan on crying, they need to take a box of tissues to somewhere far away from you.  In my apartment, all criers are banned outside or to a room with a closed door.

3. Avoid Bucket-List activities with seniors or any of their “last times” at places on/around campus.  Stick to safe, non-sentimental activities like going to Dukes, the movies, Take the Pulse, or attending class.

4. Leave Harrisonburg before move-out day.  I think this rule is pretty self-explanatory.

5. Another rule that needs no explanation: Do not say good-bye to anyone, for any reason.

6. This is my favorite: Take advantage of the graduation celebrations, but just the celebrating parts.  If you hear any clinking glasses or see any water eyes, excuse yourself immediately and come back when the coast is absolutely clear.   Basically this means enjoy the free lunches and dinners at good restaurants, as well as the cookouts in the nice weather.

I hope that those of you in my situation find these strategies helpful in the weeks approaching this rough time for us.

As for you seniors…see you soon.

~Courtney Tubbs, VP of Membership Development