Sara Says: The Final Column

When I began this column back in September, I told you all this: I know that who I am is all that I have. That was all I seemed to know at the time that I started editing with the Provoc, and it was the main thing I had learned in college. But now, seven months later, I seem to know a little bit more—that words have a fickle way of sticking out of everything, of not wanting to bend to the circumstances you have, that sometimes they’re going to fail you, and others they’re going to run like a leaky faucet onto a page and you won’t be able to stop them.

I’ve come to know now, with all of the bravado and certainty in the world, that I was right when I started this whole thing. Who I am is all that I have, and all that I have and all that I am are words.

Words seem to have traced my entire trajectory throughout college. I’m a history major and (officially declared!) English minor, so pretty regularly I’ve found myself hunched in front of a computer pounding away at a keyboard. I have searched for them, and found them, when I’ve had a hot date with Microsoft Word and a Her Campus article or blog post or Provoc article. I have spent hours on end with the dance team when words have left me to go see something else. Words have been why I can fall asleep at night, and why I’m able to hold the folks around me with tight little hands.

And I blame you, Assumption College, for all of this. I blame the many people who have touched me, with positive rays of sunshine or with heartbreaking sadness. I blame the girls who have lived by my side for this little journey, the teams who have made my hands feel light and full, the lectures that have taken me to fantasy lands where I, from the comfort of a desk, have had the ability to see everything.

Shout out to the Provoc staff for being magical word fairies, for making me feel hilarious and for teaching me how to step into the large, large shoes that leaders often wear. My love for you is infinite, and if you need to hear about it again, check out issue seven.

Shout out to the dance team for being there when words weren’t. Thank you for teaching me how to dance and walk like a champion, how to ‘put my loser up’ in all sense of the words and for Sobfest 2015.

Shout out to 5J for being the most hilarious and unique women in my life. Thank you for the Wall of Shame, for the denim stains our dancing has left on walls and for the toxic group message that plagues my iPhone. Please stay weird. Always.

And shout out to my professors, for giving me books to read, and a whole world to explore. Special shout outs to Professor Wheatland, who gave me the worst grade I’ve gotten in 117, and for pulling out the best paper I’ve ever written in senior seminar; Dr. Kisatsky for letting me write an honors thesis about Disney, and for making sure it came out okay; Professor Land for reminding me that journalism, and writing in general, is all about talking to and learning from people you would never have gotten the chance to meet; and to Professor Hodgen. Thanks for telling me to “ruin my life” and become a writer; you—and writing—have saved me in more ways than you could know.

Thanks to the Andover High friends who never let me stop calling them home. You all are everything to me.

Thanks to Douglas, Colleen and Eric for being my first friends ever, for keeping me irrationally attached to Massachusetts, for teaching me to laugh deep in my gut and for teaching me that the earth is the greatest thing that we have and we should go out there and enjoy it. Thanks to Mom and Dad for making bill payments, high grades, extracurriculars and big dreams all possible.

Forever and ever I will always say that humility and gratitude will be the most important and most attractive qualities someone can have, so I try to pull them into my heart every morning and every night. Thank you Provoc, Assumption and everyone who has filled this space with love for always keeping me humble, and always keeping me grateful.

Giving Thanks: Sara Says

It’s always really awkward because I’m totally the type of person to be like, “you shouldn’t love your significant other only on Valentine’s Day,” or “you shouldn’t care about the environment only on Earth Day,” or, more timely, “you shouldn’t be thankful for things only on Thanksgiving.”

Because I guess it’s probably true. We should be thankful every day, not just the day we obscenely indulge ourselves with turkey and mashed potatoes.

Nevertheless, I’m going to give thanks while I sit with my family around the dining room table, and I’m going to give thanks here.

And I’m going to try not to bore you with all of the I’m thankful for my family and my pets and my house and the fact that my dad pays the heating bill during the winter so my toes don’t fall off due to the cold clichés. Because what I’m thankful for this year (in contrast with last year’s thanks being given to the TV show Friends) is my college education.

So, maybe it’s kind of a cliché, but it’s the last time I get to use that cliché, so I’m going to give it all it’s got.

College is the best because I live in an apartment with my five best friends and because it’s socially acceptable to lie in my bed all day and watch Netflix and because I have this charmingly young adult ability to avoid responsibilities. But it’s also the best because, I go here, Assumption College, and the things I’ve gotten out of it I don’t think I could’ve ever ILLexpected.

Whenever I think about how grateful I am for the fact that I go to this school, I just think about the fact that I’ve been given the chance to write a senior honors thesis—even though it doesn’t feel like much of a blessing when I see on my to-do list that I have to force myself to write seven or eight pages that day, or when I have to deal with the fact that I literally have no place to store all of the Interlibrary Loans I have in my room.

But when the sheer mass of work I have to do on my project starts to pile up on me, I just ask myself: When is the next time I’m going to be able to dedicate an entire semester to studying the way Disney is a propaganda machine and represents the way we conduct foreign relations?

I can answer that question real quick: Never.

And then I just smile at the fact that I’m so unbelievably fortunate that my course load has made room for me to do this and that I have faculty who support me in this endeavor (shout out to Dr. Kisatsky for advising this thing) and that I’ve had the time and the means to flesh this project out into something so much more than proving that Disney movies perpetuate stereotypes.

And even if I weren’t writing my thesis, the simple fact that I just go to school here at Assumption is enough to be thankful for.

A little story: When I was a senior in high school, all of my friends were the absurd hipster geniuses that you all probably didn’t pay much attention to because all they spent their time doing was computer code and going to Passion Pit concerts. It wasn’t very easy to feel good about myself by the time college acceptance letters started to come out.

Don’t get me wrong, I know Assumption is a great school, I understand (all too well, actually) that a lot of upper echelon schools nowadays are just getting you to buy the name at the top of your degree. I get it.

But my best friend goes to Columbia University in New York City. Someone else goes to Duke University. My other friend goes to Tufts University. Another goes to Yale University.

ivy league

So it’s more than understandable that their acceptance letters made mine feel, well… Sub-flippin-par.

But now, four years later, I’m sitting in my room in five men, and guess what? I’m working on a really cool project for school. I’m writing a column as the Assistant Editor-in-Chief for my school’s newspaper. I’m planning my work around learning my dance team’s nationals routine this weekend. I smiled today, which is way more than I can say for Columbia or Duke or Yale.

And this all has everything to do with the fact that the kids at Assumption are good people and my professors actually guide me toward success instead of grading on an impossible asscocurve. My worry of getting a job over the person sitting next to me is non-existent. It has everything to do with the fact that Assumption is a pretty awesome place.

So there. That’s what I’m thankful for.

Assumption and all of its awesomeness.

Happy 20 Years: Sara Says

I’m going to have to start this one off with a huge apology. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all in the last issue a fundamental fact about myself: I love the television show Friends more than I love breathing. And I know, I know, it’s a lot of peoples’ favorite show, but for me, the obsession has gotten a little bit obscene. I’m not just tuning into Nick @ Nite every night at ten to let the show lull me to sleep, nor am I just religiously catching the reruns on TBS every afternoon. I’m sitting on my couch for three hours (or four or five…), sticking each DVD from my box sets into the TV and reciting Every. Single. Line.

I’ve read my special edition trivia book cover to cover multiple times, tried my hand at all the spinoffs, have my very own special version of Central Perk with my friends at home (Ultimate Perk, Main Street, Andover Mass. It’s a real gem, you should go sometime) and I honest to God shared at the Thanksgiving table last year that I was thankful for Friends being in my life.

I’m sorry if this rant makes your love for Friends seem inferior, I really am, because that’s not the point of this column. The real point of this column, however pathetic as it may be, is to say happy twentieth birthday, Friends, you’ve shaped my life more than you could know. It’s probably (definitely) more than weird for me to dedicate an entire column to how much I love a television show that isn’t even on the air anymore, but with one that has so steadfastly remained by my side, I think the weirdness is bearable.

So thanks, Friends, for settling disputes amongst the Heath siblings about what we would be watching for hours on end. Thanks for the days where my sister would have it on a long loop and the rest of us slowly, like coffee through its filter, would slide into the living room until we are all laughing beside one another. Thanks for the nights my parents ordered pizza and let us eat it on the couch only if we put Friends on. Thanks for making the show about family, not just friends.

Thanks for the lobsters and the breaks and the letters that are 18 pages—“front and back!” Thanks for Ross and Rachel, for telling me not to give up on people I love (romantically or not) and for showing me that even if in one life you were hurt by someone beyond repair, you still have the room and the strength in your heart to get off the plane.

Thanks for teaching me that “y-o-u-r means your; y-o-u-apostrophe-r-e means you are” and that opinions that don’t matter are like a cow’s opinion—they’re moo. Thanks for telling me that the appropriate response to obnoxious people is “shut up, shut up, shut uuup,” and to tell people I don’t feel like spending time with that “I wish I could but I don’t want to.” And when all else fails? Say it loud and proud: “oh… my… God.”

Thanks for teaching me to be like Chandler and to always laugh at myself, to realize that every once in a while it’s okay to grow up and learn how to love, to see that if a job makes you miserable and isn’t your dream, you should chase after what truly fulfills you.

Thanks for teaching me to be like Phoebe, to be myself and not care what other peoples’ judgments are, to let my spirit be free and to be accepting of people from all walks of life.

Thanks for teaching me to be like Joey, to have love unwavering, to persevere through moments where people don’t believe in you, to be a loyal friend.

Thanks for teaching me to be like Rachel, to be brave, to know that it is possible to start over, to be beautiful on the outside but even more so on the inside.

Thanks for teaching me to be like Ross, to never give up on finding true love, to be a good parent, to know that it is not a bad thing to be passionate about academia and learning.

And thanks for teaching me to be like Monica, for teaching me to clear the clutter from my life, to be determined and focused on what I want, to stand up for myself and to be assertive about what I do and do not deserve.

Thanks, Friends, for the laughs, the one-liners and the love. Happy 20 years.


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