A part of my heart is still there!
I carry The Farm in my heart!
You see, I never graduated from Stanford. I worked my butt off, got in and I LOVE it there!!!!!
But, when my dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma my Sophomore year and the Depression hit, boy did it become a struggle.
For the first time ever I was getting F’s. The Performer had never gotten anything lower than a B.
I had a super understanding Academic Counselor in the Bursar’s Office. He really tried to work with me to be able to stay. But eventually it all became too much and I “stopped out,” Stanford jargon for taking a leave of absence.
I only had 45 units left to graduate. But I knew, I would never be able to complete them in my current state of mind.
I entered the job force. My first real job was as the Information person for Reunion Homecoming at the SAA (Stanford Alumni Association). This place is still near and dear to my heart. I worked there all through my college years and never have I worked at such a special place since. They trained me with the office and people skills I would need to thrive in the working world.
From there I worked temp jobs, admin jobs and eventually on to events.
But a part of me has always felt incomplete and ashamed. I wouldn’t talk about my Stanford years much. I wouldn’t wear my Stanford paraphernalia, or if I did, I’d hide it under a fleece.
I have let this keep me from exuding the pride I feel in my university.
But, no more!!!
This started to change a few years ago with Facebook. See, I’m a HUGE sports fan and I LOVE my Cardinal teams! I would post cheers for them, excitement when the east coast TV televised a Stanford game. I started to publicly cheer on my school!
But, I still wouldn’t wear my sweatshirt with pride. After all, (whisper voice here) you know what, I didn’t graduate.
But in the end, does that truly matter?!
Did I work my ass off to get in? Yes!
Did I love it there? Yes!
Did I feel like I belonged there? Yes!
Would anyone who ever attended Stanford begrudge me for wearing my Stanford sweatshirt with pride, even though I didn’t graduate? I highly doubt it!
Stanford truly is a unique place in this world. Nestled in the foothills, with its large campus. The energy on campus is difficult to put in to words. It’s youthful, alive, thriving, warm, intellectual, questioning, embracing, supportive. . . just to name a few words that come to mind when I picture myself sitting on a fountain there on campus.
Just because I didn’t graduate, it doesn’t mean I am not a part of Stanford and that it’s not a part of me.
So, today and many days lately, I am wearing my Stanford sweatshirt with great PRIDE!!!!
When I just looked in the mirror, I smiled at myself (yes, still practicing that) and said, “I know what I want to write today!”