Category Archives: schenectady & beyond

so long

grad00

Last week I graduated from Union College in upstate New York. It was an absolutely magical day as my parents were there, my sisters were there, The Boy was there, my best friends from college were there, and my grandparents were there. It was extra special to have my paternal grandmother at the ceremony because her husband, my late grandfather, graduated from Union in 1956. My father received his BA in history from Union in 1987 and also got his MAT from Union. My mom received her MBA in Healthcare Management from the Union Graduate College.

grad01

grad02

grad03

Union College is such a special place to my family and it became even more meaningful to me over the past three years being there. After an unhappy freshman year at Boston College I transferred to Union hoping that I would find a better fit. Without a doubt I did. I have made beyond incredible friends at Union, met so many amazing professors and administrators, and really felt like I found myself during my brief time there. I happily majored in economics with a minor in Russian language and am proud to share that I graduated as the Salutatorian of the Class of 2014 (despite only having three years of grades to factor into my GPA!). Next month I am headed down to my most favorite city in the entire world, New York, to begin a job in finance.

grad04

grad05

TheGarnetLetter began as a work study assignment for Union College. Back in 2011 the school had a few student blogs running, many of which played an important role in my decision to attend Union. When I finally got to Schenectady, I wanted to be able to share my unique insights into the school and college life in general to hopefully help other potential students like myself find their perfect fit. Eventually Union combined all of its student blogs onto one platform, the award-winning Union Unfiltered, but I kept TGL going on the side as my own college lifestyle blog and creative outlet.

grad06

grad07

Having TGL in my life has shaped me in more ways than I can ever describe. The blog has chronicled my years at Union and the many amazing experiences that I am so grateful to have had. It will be difficult closing this chapter of my life (you might have noticed that I’ve been putting off this farewell post…), but like everything and anything it is time to turn the page and start on yet another, hopefully marvelous, adventure. This will conclude my time writing for TheGarnetLetter, but those savvy enough might find me elsewhere on the blogosphere in a more anonymous sense. I will never lose my love of blogging or my need for a creative outlet, but the real world dictates that my time curating TGL must come to an end.

grad08

Farewell, beautiful readers! Thank you for joining me on this beyond amazing journey and hopefully I will hear from you all again soon somewhere else in this wonderful blogging world 😉

grad09

With much love and many thanks,

Cat

Let the Grecian dream of his sacred stream,

And sing of the brace adorning,

The Phoebus weaves from his laurel leaves

At the golden gates of morning,

But the brook that bounds through old Union’s grounds

Gleams bright as the Delphic water,

And a prize as fair as a god may wear

Is a dip from our Alma Mater.

 

Then here’s to the, the brave and free,

Old Union, smiling o’er us

And for many a days as they walls grow gray,

May they ring with thy children’s chorus!

destination graduation

calitown

Today I fly out to Cali with my family for my twin sister‘s graduation. It’s super weird because she’s two minutes younger than me and yet she’ll be a college graduate before I am. I guess she deserves it though, after slaving away at Caltech for four years. Our next few days should look a little like this:

Wednesday 6/11 — Leave Albany at 6am (agggggggg!) headed for Southern California

Thursday 6/12 — Turn 22 and celebrate at Disneyland

Friday 6/13 — Watch my little sister (:P) graduate from college

Saturday 6/14 — Fly back to New York

Sunday 6/15 — Pray we make it back in time for my graduation!

Will it be a little cuckoo? Of course. But I am so glad that I am making this trip with my awesome family. We always have a fantastic time, no matter what in the world we are doing, and I think this whirl-wind adventure will be one for the books!

wknd

wknd

This weekend was crucial for me in terms of spending time with friends and family. Even though I technically don’t have school off today (although, I kind of do since I scheduled my classes to only be on Tuesday/Thursdays… :P) I definitely felt the excitement of the holiday weekend these past few days.
I began my weekend with a trip to the outlets in Lee, MA with my little sister. I didn’t have as much luck as I had hoped, but I guess that just means I get to spend more in the future!! On Saturday I volunteered with my parents at the Regional Food Bank’s organic farm. We were building a brand new greenhouse. It was fun to get my hands dirty (quite literally) and spend some time with my parents doing good.

That night I hung out with my housemates and took it easy and watched a movie. It was raining and I was beat, so I didn’t have much energy for going out. On Sunday, I helped host a block party event for my school (we made boba! Yummm!) and then in the late afternoon I hit the mall with my dad to try to find some great deals on business wear. At night I got sushi take-out with The Boy and watched about a million episodes of White Collar (the BEST!).

I think my weekend was just the perfect mix of doing things and not doing things, spending time with family, making time for friends, and really just appreciating the short time I have left of my college career. I still know it won’t be easy to transition out of this, but this weekend left me feeling a lot better about moving forward and knowing that everything is going to be just fine.

work & play

work & playFor me, shopping is a lot like hunger; if I eat something, I’m not hungry for a little while, but inevitably the feeling always comes back. If I purchase something, I’m alright for some time, but then the need comes back with a vengeance. I haven’t gone shopping in a longgg time (unless you count buying shampoo and conditioner… the 99 cent kind, mind you) simply because my bank account refuses to accumulate any kind of savings above a certain amount (weekly toiletry runs and gas tank refills wipeout what little I’ve made each week in a heart beat). But recently I’ve come into some cash (from my award ceremony a few weekends ago — yay for cash prizes!) and I’m planning on using it this Friday with my little sister on an outlet shopping extravaganza! Memorial Day deals? Count me in! My wish list includes casual wear items for the few weeks of summer that I do have off as well as some business attire for what will soon be my entire life. Regardless of what I will be buying this weekend, I can’t wait!!

like fireworks

like fireworks

I know I must sound like a broken record at this point (see here), but my spring weekends recently have been just so wonderful and definitely way too short. Why does that always happen? This weekend began with a date to see the opening of Godzilla on Thursday (so, so, SO good — will definitely have another post on that some time soon), followed by a personal spa day on Friday and a great party on Friday night (see instagram!). On Saturday I slept in past noon (#college) and met my little sister at my hometown’s annual Niskaday fair. Niskaday is a time-honored tradition for the people of my hometown and going there brought back myriad memories of late spring afternoons spent hanging out with friends after school. My favorite part of the fair was winning fish from the Boy Scout troop’s ping-pong ball game. The Boy and I won 10 fish!! I love them oh so much (but one already died last night and I don’t know how to handle it… and I’m supposed to go out into the real world in three weeks… oops!). Then on Saturday night we joined my parents for the fair’s awesome fireworks show. Sunday brought with it one of my best friend’s graduation party and (unfortunately) the inevitable homework. I really hope I can make some time this week to stay relaxed and keep the weekend sentiment going. Anyone else have a too-short weekend?

mother’s day weekend

1

2

that’s yours truly on the flute!

Where do I even begin with this weekend? On Friday afternoon I presented my Senior Thesis at my school’s annual Steinmetz Symposium. It went really well and both my father and The Boy were able to attend. It was so great sharing my work with my old professors, family, and friends. Then I had my last orchestra concert ever on Friday night. We played Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 — a real favorite.

The Boy and I after my Prize Day ceremonies

me and The Boy after my Prize Day ceremonies

4

yummy homemade chocolate covered strawberries for my momma!

5

the whole family (minus cali twin) at the Tulip Fest

On Saturday I was inducted into Union’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. It was a really special honor as my mother and both of my grandmothers are also members. Afterwards the school celebrated with a beautiful brunch. Then that afternoon was Prize Day. Every year Union holds Prize Day in order to recognize special seniors (and some juniors and sophomores!) for their excellence and contributions to the school and community. The ceremony holds a lot of suspense as none of the recipients are announced until they have to walk up to the stage to receive their award! This year I was honored to receive three awards: the Andrew W. Archibald award “To the senior earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with the highest scholastic standing,” the John Iwanik Prize “to an outstanding Russian language student” (and two of my other Russian language friends won with me!), and the Horatio G. Warner award “to a student of high personal character who has the highest scholastic standing in the Bachelor of Arts program.” It was a beautiful and exciting ceremony.

6

7

8

9

Finally, Sunday was Mother’s Day! I spent the day with my mom (and my family) at the Albany Tulip Festival. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. The weather was beautiful, the tulips were incredible, and with good food and good family there were lots of laughs 🙂 At night The Boy and I celebrated our one year anniversary by satisfying our Chinese food cravings at P. F. Chang’s.  I hadn’t been there in a really long time, so it was a nice treat.

10

such a cutie!!

11

YUM.

I can’t believe my weekend is over already! I had such an incredible time and although the weather is gorgeous today, it’s tough getting back to the grindstone. Anyone else missing their weekend?

weekend woohoo

weekend

Where do I even begin about this weekend? First off, Union College won its first ever Frozen Four men’s hockey national championship title on Saturday! It was unbelievable. Union knows how to celebrate, but the energy of this weekend was just beyond. Did the students get some bad press with a few “riots” and the like? Maybe. But no one can deny the sheer awesomeness of two thousand ecstatic students and a community totally rallying behind an underdog victory. On top of the historic win, my weekend was made even more wonderful by friends, family, and the weather. The Boy‘s younger brother visited campus (potential Union Class of 2018 student) as did my little sister and her BF. Everyone got along so well and we had so many great adventures. Plus, the weather was gorgeous! The temps in upstate NY recently have supposedly been in the 60s, but it feels so much warmer than that. The entire Union College campus is coming out of hibernation, and spring and the students have finally sprung!

Did you have a wonderful weekend??