Yesterday, I received my Bachelor's Degree in Interior Architecture from Chatham University. I am officially a College Graduate and it is kind of blowing my mind...
First off, I have to say, that I wouldn't be where I am today without these girls right here. The 14 of us have been through the last 3 years together, through countless all-nighters, the fun-times, the deadlines, the tears, the joys (and a bit of wheelchair racing through the halls of Eastside at 1 am--shhh, don't tell the PT majors!). I have grown to love and respect each and everyone of them, both as designers and as people, but most importantly as friends that I will never forget. I feel so lucky that I went through college with such an amazing and talented group of women.
Pia: You are such a motivated woman and I am so proud of everything you've accomplished with school and with your beautiful little family! You and I have always had a special bond where we can just say anything and we always have each others backs. I am really going to miss being with you at Eastside!
Laura: You astound me with your talent and your design eye. I couldn't be more proud of you pursuing your masters in Architecture at Oregon. You are such an authentic and genuine person and I will miss our no non-sense talks about life and design.
Eva: Since our first project together in Theory Studio, you've been someone that I admire. Your passion for art and design is obvious to the point where it seems to ooze out of you in everything you do. You are also one of the sweetest people I've ever met and I am so excited for all of the success I know that is coming for you. P.S. I can't wait to see your wedding pictures!!!!
Kat: Seeing you at Chatham's Orientation in 2010 was the happiest surprise ever! I loved being in studio with you and seeing your work at La Roche and I'm so glad that you also made the transfer to Chatham! I can't even say how much I admire you for leaving everything here and living in Dubai for a year. I wasn't surprised though, you've always been the type of person to just go for what you want! I especially enjoyed our time in the studio this last semester. Also, I think you need to start a blog about your design and fashion so I can keep up with all of your awesomeness!
Rebecca: Ever since we were living in Fickes our first year, you have been a person that I just feel so comfortable around, like I've known you for my whole life. Maybe it's our shared Eastern PA heritage, but I think it goes beyond that. We have always just clicked and I appreciate your sense of humor and your dedication to everything that you do. You go all out! Whether it's Relay for Life or building models, I know that you are the type of person to go above and beyond. And yes, if my interior design business gets big enough, I will definitely hire you! As long as you aren't in Ireland or Indonesia or something... You never know!
Courtney: You are just something else. You tell it like it is and make no apologies and I love you so much for that! I'm so glad we suffered through that 3 hour night class together a couple years ago! I am so proud of the strength you show as a young woman, a professional and as a mother. I'm so glad I got the chance to come see you and Addison in the hospital right after she was born. I feel like since then we've had a special friendship. I had the best time with you in Toronto and every time we get together I know it's going to be a hoot! I can't wait to see where life takes you next!
Molly: You are like a little interior design machine! Seriously though, you are such a dedicated person and a hard-worker that I know you will find success in our field and I really look up to you for that. You've always been a little quiet and behind the scenes but I know how much you've done for Chatham ASID and as the resource librarian and I am so thankful. Keep me in the loop with what's next for you! I can definitely see you as the future PA West President!
Rachel: Where do I even start. The moment I knew we were going to be friends for life was probably when you found me crying in the studio with a completely obliterated cube model and then took me back to your dorm and kept an eye on me for the next 24 hours while we finished our models. You are seriously the most kind hearted person I've ever known and you've saved me so many times during our college years. I am like a proud mama over you going to Mizzou for Grad school! Even though you are going to be far away, I will definitely be out to see you and I can't wait to call you Dr. Siefert! It means so much to me to have you standing up with me at my wedding and I'm happy to know that no matter where life takes us, we will always be there for eachother <3.
Yuki: You are another person who's talent and drive just wows me. I'm glad you are thinking of going to Architecture school, you definitely have the skill for it and I feel pretty certain that I'm going to see insane building in Architectural Digest one day that say Lead Architect: Yuki Okihara. You are a little firecracker and I'm excited to see where life takes you next.
Jamie: Natalia, my best Russian friend. We've gotten so close over the last year especially, and I am so grateful. You are like a little ball of awesome that I want to put in my pocket at keep forever! At first, you seemed quiet and shy, but once I really got to know you I realized you are one of the most hilarious people ever! A fact that is reinforced by the fact that I think you won every game at my Pittsburgh bridal shower this weekend... Just so you know, I am for sure taking you with me when I move back home in a week and a half. I'm not ready to let go of you yet!
Avan: You are another who was a little quiet at first, but once I got you talking I realized what a sweet and genuine person you are. I really enjoyed our talks in the computer lab while the scanners/plotters were being stupidly slow (as always). I always looked forward to seeing your final designs at the end of the semester. You have such a unique style and I especially loved when you incorporated historic Nepali forms like you did in your restaurant project. I'm looking forward to seeing what's next for you!
Ella: Remember when I was creeping on you at Accepted Students Day in April of 2010 and noticed your folder also said "Transfer- Interior Architecture" and we decided to be roommates? BEST DECISION EVER. Over the last 3 years, you've become so much more than a friend to me. You are my Pittsburgh sister! You've been there for me through everything and I can't thank you enough. I almost can't believe you still like me, because you've seen all my crazy, but I am so happy to know that I'll always have you in my corner. You and your family have really made Anthony and I feel at home and welcomed out here and I will never forget that. I'm pretty sure our future kids will be calling you Auntie Ella and your parents Grandma and Grandpa Thompson! I am beyond proud of you pursuing your dreams in Los Angeles! I always knew you were going to get in at AFI, you are so talented and motivated that it just couldn't NOT happen. You ooze creativity out of your pores and your so distinctive in your designs for school, your sense of style and everything else you do! I know for sure I will see your name in the credits of some major movies someday soon! But before then, I'm just happy to have a future celebrity as a bridesmaid in my wedding this October. You are the best!
Steph: We really started bonding when we both became Aunties around the same time. I remember you telling me people thought it was funny how many pictures you had of Lorelei on your Facebook and you said "I can't help it! I just love her so much!" We have a lot in common with what we want out of life and where we see ourselves going, so it's been really fun sitting behind you in Studio for the past year. You have so many good things coming for you, all the things you've been working all these years in college towards and no one will be happier for you than me when you finally achieve them! Whether you end up in Pittsburgh, South Carolina (or god-forbid, the Mid-west!) promise me that we will keep in touch! We can be mommy bloggers together in a couple of years!
I was so happy to be able to share my graduation day with my family. It's one of those things that you don't realize how big of a deal the actual day is until it's happening. I was definitely holding back the tears! I love when my family comes to visit me and realizing this is probably the last time we will all be in Pittsburgh together was bittersweet. I am definitely ready to be closer to my family, but I'm not quite ready to leave this beautiful city and all the memories I've made behind.