Last night was LSU rowing’s Spring Banquet so everyone got real fancy in an attempt to prove that we scrub up pretty well.
It’s tradition at the end of every semester for the graduating seniors to stand up and give a speech. I was unaware that being on a rapidly expiring student visa meant that an exception would be made for me and I had to get up too. Even if I had known I was supposed to speak I doubt I could’ve said anything meaningful. As it happens, my feels go haywire whenever I think about leaving so I have taken the denial approach and it is working quite well, thank you very much!
I let everyone know that they needn’t panic because Jake had promised to marry me for a green card and so at the after party we decided to make it official with the help of the holy and newly-ordained Jamie Eunice.
A hastily put together bouquet of Jameson was used for my walk down the aisle with Rob.
The wedding party got serious with the smart-casual dress code.
But really, if I had been capable of saying anything serious at the meal without embarrassing myself then I would’ve told everyone that every single person on LSU rowing has helped make my year better than I possibly could have guessed it would be. I am so grateful for every person that has decided to take me on an adventure to see something I wouldn’t otherwise have known about, or realised that I hadn’t ever tried the food they were eating and given me some, and even the people that laugh at me every time a waiter can’t understand me saying water….
I always considered rowing in general to be the best decision I ever made, but actually I think the decision to carry on rowing in the US was better than the original, even though you’re all crazy and have practice at 6am every day (won’t miss that next year)! My only regret would be that doing this is making it a hell of a lot more difficult to leave. You’ve made me stronger, more cultured, a greater lover of country, feel better about myself, laugh a hell of a lot and added far too much to my t-shirt collection. In the most genuine, heartfelt way possible, thank you.
Sorry about the feels… I don’t usually like to acknowledge them but you all deserve to know how much you mean to me.
Love you, mean it!
All photos are Courtney Mills’