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Welcome to the life and chronicles of My Jersey Boys and me, B (the only girl who hangs out with them). Our original mission was to prove that not all of Jersey is obsessed with GTL. Now it's kind of become the place where we share our random thoughts, ridiculous stories, regular quote updates, and maybe a picture or video here and there. There's always something going on...

Love from,
The one and only,
B

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Graduation

Posted by D on 12:21 PM
They call it commencement, the beginning of the rest of your life. My mom used to tell me that when she graduated, she was ready to move on. A combination of boredom and regret pushed her to take her college degree and get out as quickly as possible, both physically and emotionally. I understood why she felt this way about her college experience, but I never thought I would be "ready" to leave Duke. College has the habit of becoming 4 of the best/significant years of an individual's life, and I am no exception. Over the course of the last 4 years, my worst skill became my best and I developed unbelievably strong friendships. I became an important person to people. There is nothing that builds self-confidence faster than when those around you believe you're important.

I had daily reminders that people respected my opinion enough to seek me out. My judgment became accepted as wisdom. I have no idea how I went from being a shy freshmen to a wise, old fraternity president, but I'd like to think that I made people comfortable. I hope that my mellow personality gave comfort to those that were infinitely more stressed than I was. I hope that they knew that I had their backs regardless of the challenges that they might face. I hope they trusted that I would resolve any problems that came up and would shield them from any concerns that weren't necessary for me to share with them. I wish they knew how badly I wanted to make them all proud of me. I will always be grateful to those people who mistakenly thought that I knew what I was doing, who gave me the opportunity to lead them, who were my friends.

The truth is I was never comfortable with any of this. I never knew how to handle being so respected. I had no supervision. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, with no questions asked. I was uncomfortable being the center of attention (I was probably the quietest and most low-maintenance fraternity president ever). Although I eventually got used to my role, I would have preferred to be #2. I would have preferred to work for somebody else. I would have preferred more privacy and anonymity (everything I did was seen and/or known by everybody). Thankfully for me and my future, my fraternity was having none of this. They forced me to grow up. They forced me to learn how to talk to people. They forced me to keep working even when I wanted to give up. I am so grateful.

Unfortunately, 2 years of leadership wore on me. At the beginning of semesters, I was energized and my patience meter was full. I could handle any problem that could come up, organizationally or individually (others). People would come to me at all hours of the day looking for me to fix their problems. By the end of the semesters, I would become worn down, frustrated, and sometimes bitter. I put so much pressure on myself to do everything perfectly. I was so afraid to let people down. Sometimes, I would blame others for putting so much pressure on me, even when I knew that I was responsible for shouldering all the burden. At the end (especially the last 2 springs), I would long to be freed from responsibility and would hope that somebody else would offer to pick up the slack. It was these times in which I missed my NJ friends the most. There is some special quality that our group has that asks each individual to play a small role and nothing more. When I came home, I would revel in the lack of expectations and the lack of self-induced pressure. Unfortunately, my friends at school became accustomed to me doing everything for them, and I certainly was not going to let them struggle alone: so I kept working until the very end. I wish I were stronger. I wish I were better able to shoulder that burden. I worked as hard as I could. Sometimes it was enough, but normally it wasn't.

This is why near the end I was ready to leave. I love my friends at Duke. I love that they had so much faith in me. I love that I was able to make their lives a little bit easier, but I can't do it anymore. I tried solving everybody's problems, but nobody can do that forever. I will really miss feeling like the most important person in the room, but for awhile I'd really like to be just like everybody else. The last few weeks of college, I was counting down the days until I could go home. I had never been particularly homesick up to that point, but after 4 years of college, I was desperate to see Tk's garage again.

My best friend Cor (she was introduced to you guys very recently) asked a few weeks ago if I was upset about graduation. I told her that I wasn't but that I expected that I would be soon. I was right. The week before graduation it finally hit me that I would never see my friends again. Although I know that I will see them again, I also know that it will never be the same. We will never all live together again. We will never all hang out on regular basis. We will never again have impromptu fun. I will never see my best friend everyday again. For the rest of our lives, seeing each other will be big deal just because of how rare it will be. I am still struggling with this realization and will continue to for the foreseeable future. Even knowing how badly I wanted to leave near the end and how the pressure tore me apart, I would go through it all for another 2 years if it meant I could be with my friends again. In the end, they gave me much more than I possibly could have given them. I hope they know that.

D

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