We Are, Virginia Tech.

Today, and everyday, I am a Hokie. Today, and every day, we are Virginia Tech. Today we remember the tragedy that many define us by.

What no one but a Hokie can understand is that we will never be defined by the action of one of us, but by the reaction of all of us.

We are a community unlike any other. As Nikki Giovanni said, no one deserves a tragedy and we pray everyday that no other school, community, family, will endure the tragedies we have. However, we do not dictate the tragedies in our lives and I pray that for every one that occurs, that family can gather strength and hope from the example of the Hokie Nation.

Today, and every day, we live for those we’ve lost. Today, we celebrate their lives by being the community they helped to create.

We are, Virginia Tech. 

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The Next Five Years.

The next five years is something you think a lot about when you’re in your twenties.

Five years from now I’ll be…

Five years from now I’ll have…

Five years from now I’ll be doing…

As you prepare for interviews and grad school applications you think: what is my five year plan? Where do I see myself professionally in five years? Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones that has a clear picture of what five years from now looks like. Maybe, like me, there’s so many possibilities for the future your five year plan changes like a kaleidoscope. Each possibility is as beautiful and unique and slightly off putting as the last and you could never choose just one.

Five years from now I’ll be happy.

Five years from now I’ll have friends and family that support and love me as much as I support and love them.

Five years from now I’ll be doing as much as possible to inspire my dreams.

My five year plan doesn’t particularly inspire love in the heart of any employer. But it should. Because a woman motivated to succeed by the things closest to her heart is the most likely to go above and beyond. In a world where employment is difficult to come across and you’re never quite “qualified”, you’re expected to make sacrifices. Priorities are expected to be the job first and everything else second. Some might argue that companies are trending towards more family friendly, or a more holistic life approach. Some might be. But if that was really the case the interview question wouldn’t be, “Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?” It would be, “Tell me what you want out of your life in the next five years?” Because what you want out of life speaks to your values and your motivations. In the end is it better to be an exclusively dedicated employee or an excellent person five years from now?