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Some things should never change.

When you’re in your 20’s, the word “tradition” probably doesn’t mean as it might later in life, but I’m grateful to be surrounded by the very definition of tradition. It just happens to involve Virginia Tech football, too. Just last month, I was reading my friend Hadley C.’s blog, and she shared a fantastic quote that she felt defined the word “tradition.” I completely agreed with her. She wrote that, “tradition is a physical representation for being apart of something bigger than yourself.” This is a blog post, too, about tradition.

This past weekend I had the chance to do something I didn’t think I would be able to do until next season – head down to Blacksburg to see the Hokies play UNC! Coach Frank Beamer just announced his retirement before the bye week, making this contest the last home game of his career. One of my very best friends, Caroline G., who lives in South Carolina while she works on her graduate degree, and I had planned to meet up for a game in Blacksburg earlier this season, but unfortunately I couldn’t make that trip. Once she said she was available to “meet in the middle,” so to speak, for this trip I was essentially, immediately, on the road.

Goofing off with the wonderful Caroline during halftime of the football game! Unfortunately it was a loss for the Hokies but it was a win for me getting to catch up with this wonderful woman!
Goofing off with the wonderful Caroline during halftime of the football game! Unfortunately it was a loss for the Hokies but it was a win for me getting to catch up with this wonderful woman!

Turns out – not only was this going to be a trip where I got to reunite with Caroline but I’d get to reunite with some old friends, too!

During my freshman year of college, I lived in suite-style housing. The suite across from my mine was comprised of six extraordinary girls, many of whom I remain very, very close with this to this day, even 6 years later. One of those girls, Cathleen C., changed my life when she first invited me to a tailgate during our freshman year, with her mom, dad, and some of their college friends. The four of them – Carmen & Alan (Mr. and Mrs. C.!) and Kathy & Sam – all met during their time at VT, and ended up getting married (HOW ADORABLE, AMRITE?!). Over the years, many of their kids received a Virginia Tech education, and obviously Cathleen was no different!

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Shannon H., myself, Cathleen, and Ari W. travelled to Georgia during our undergraduate days to see the Hokies play in the Georgia Dome! We obviously take Hokie football pretty seriously.

That tradition of tailgating together, that they shared with us, has continued over the years, and I am so very grateful for that. Many of our friends and significant others have joined in on the tradition since we’ve been students, too.

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Many of the folks mentioned here are some of our dearest friends from undergrad. I think this photo was taken in 2012, just before we graduated.

I’ve always been so incredibly appreciative of them for opening their condo to us and always making sure we are well-fed before or after Hokie football games.

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The only picture I could find of these four incredible Hokies – Sam, Alan, Carmen, and Kathy from left to right!

Spending time with them and catching up this past weekend is, undoubtedly, a highlight of my entire month. I always try to make sure that no matter what happens in life and how things change that I stay grounded and connected with people that I love. This situation is a good example of that, and I’m going to try my best to keep it up.

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Love you BM, and everything that you’ve shared in this great tradition with me and us!