During the summer between my junior and senior year, I decided to take an adventure and work in Washington DC, along with 50 other students from UC Irvine. It was probably one of the bravest things I had done at the time, seeing as I’d never been more than three hours away from home — although with traffic some days it was about 45 hours away from home. I was nervous the entire quarter leading up to it because I didn’t know anyone in the program and somehow everyone seemed to know each other. I’d cut most meetings short and spend the extra time absorbing all the things I’d miss at Irvine. While now I’d encourage my younger self to make friends, if I’d been any different at the time, I figure I wouldn’t have met the lady above!
Finally moving to DC, I met my randomly assigned roommates and wouldn’t you know it, one of them was Grace. It’s funny where and when you met people who will become such lovely parts of your life. Mainly because I was a bit of a mess that summer. I’d broken up with my long distance boyfriend, and when it came to the students I lived with, our study abroad program might as well have changed its name to “try every bar in the DC area.” Poor Grace, she put up with a lot.
^^ In my defense, Grace was the one who wanted to hold MY HAND in that picture. ^^
There are three things you need to know about Grace:
1. That girl can eat. I’m talking about three times her body weight of food on the daily. It became a running joke among our group of Grace’s love of eating and how she’d probably finish everything off our plates if we didn’t. It was because of her love of the culinary arts, and her proactive planning, I tried many great restaurants and activities that I wouldn’t have found on my own. And I’m better for all of them.
2. Grace is a superwoman. Since leaving our DC bubble, Grace has gone on to graduate with a masters from NYU, work at UC Berkley, and most recently, started working at UC Irvine to address issues of diversity and sexual assault prevention among the Greek community. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s doing yoga everyday to prepare herself for yoga teacher training in a month. Yes, she’s one of those people you both love and want to switch lives with for a day but don’t think you could handle it. Sometimes when I’m procrastinating on yet another article (oh, like I am right now, sorry Daily Dot!), I think about the incredible women in my life like Grace and Zabie and then have a minor panic attack about what I’m doing with my life. No, that’s a joke …. well that’s half joke. But in all honesty, Grace always inspires me to keep pushing myself and never keep a dream a dream but make it into a reality.
3. She’s one of my favorites. You probably got that by now but I just wanted to make sure it was highlighted. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed since the last time I’ve seen her, we simply pick up right where we left off. A day goes by in the blink of an eye and only does time present itself when we have to add more coins to our parking meter. So Grace, my life is so much better for having you in it and thank you for always being you.
Here’s to many more years of laughing as hard as we did below.