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Hail to Thee My Alma Mater

As I sit here writing this blog post, I am getting ready for bed. I'm getting ready for bed the night before my last day of school for my undergraduate degree. I'm getting ready for bed the night before my last morning coffee date with my best friend for a while.

Honestly, this week's blog was not going to be on this topic. It was going to be on IBD awareness week which is also currently going on. However, this post was on my heart and I felt called to share.

When I was applying for colleges, I had never heard of Erskine College in the small town of Due West, South Carolina. Not many people have. However, when I visited for the first time, this felt like home. I could have gone to the big state schools in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, etc. but something called me to Erskine.

I originally came to Erskine to play soccer. The first day of preseason, a cyst I had in my knee for ten years ruptured and I had to have knee surgery shortly after. Not the way to start your college career, I know. After surgery, PT, an infection, and months of crutches and a knee immobilizer, I finally recovered. During that time, I also quit soccer, a sport I had loved had loved for 15 years of my life and still do to this day.

Right before Christmas break, I got sick. It felt like a stomach bug, but I couldn't seem to shake it. By the time my spring semester rolled around I was sick as a dog. I constantly missed class and had numerous days where I could not get out of bed. Even after I finally got my diagnosis late into my sophomore year, I was miserable and sick more days than not. What made it even harder was that during the worst of it, I had no explanation as to what was going on. All I could tell my professors was:

"I'm going to a ton of doctors right now to figure it out. "

"I won't be in class today due to falling ill."

"Can I have an extension on this assignment because I have been severely ill the past few days?"

Honestly, the amount of emails I had to send along these lines were embarrassing. However, my professors were super understanding and worked with me to figure out how to make school worked.

Coming out of freshman year, I had a 2.1 GPA. This was extremely hard for me because I entered college with a 3.78 from high school. I had never done so poorly in school, even though I had an excuse. This also made it more stressful moving forward because I had to work even harder to make sure I brought that GPA so I could still reach my goal of becoming a nurse.

Looking back on my college career, Im proud. Im proud of my past self for pushing through. I'm also extremely thankful for Erskine College. Im extremely thankful for my professors and staff here who have supported me the past 3.5 years. I'm thankful for all of my friends I have made and who have stuck with me since the very beginning.

I tell people all the time, if it were not for Erskine College and the school being so small, I would have had to take a gap semester or year to figure out my medical problems. If Erskine College was not so small, I would not be graduating early. If Erskine College was not so small, I would not have found myself.

I will forever be thankful for this sweet, small alma mater of mine. However, I am so excited for what comes next. The day this blog is posted, I have four more days in South Carolina and then I'm moving to Tennessee for nursing school.

Yours truly,

Kaitlyn Trevathan

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