COURTESY OF TAYLOR SHEWCHUCK
Dear Washington State University, thank you.
Thank you for the very best days of my life and some of the very worst. Thank you for shaping nervous, homesick freshman me into the strong, confident — and now educated — young woman I am today. Thank you for introducing me to my closest friends. Thank you for making Pullman home.
When the plane landed on a little strip of tarmac in the middle of wheat fields four years ago, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
I was nervous I wouldn’t make friends, nervous I wouldn’t like my classes and nervous there was nothing to do in Pullman. I called my mom crying the second day saying I wanted to come home, but I grew to love this little town.
There’s no other place I could imagine going to school. There is no place like Pullman. There is no school like Washington State University. There is no student family like Cougars. It’s hard to put into words the passion WSU students have. The only way to describe it is “it’s a Coug thing.”
Cougar Football Saturdays. Writing your name on the wall at The Coug. The Cliffs. The Dunes. Singing “Back Home” at the top of your lungs. Stubby Tuesdays. Sledding at midnight the first time it snows. Cougar Country Drive-in. Driving around with the windows down on the first sunny day of spring. I loved every second of every day spent here.
Thank you for introducing me to my best friends. People I would never have met if it weren’t for this school. Thank you for showing me who truly cares about me — I’ll cherish these friendships forever.
Yes, there were hard days. There were heartbreaking days. There were days when I didn’t think I would make it to the finish line. But the Coug Family is strong, caring and passionate. The darkest days were a little brighter knowing I was a Coug.
As I’m writing this, I’m emotional because I appreciate the Cougar family so much. People always ask me why I love this school in the middle of nowhere. It’s the family, the sense of community.
The passion each and every Coug has for this school. If you see someone wearing a Coug shirt in the airport in New York or Miami and you say, “Go Cougs,” they say it back. It’s a tradition. It’s knowing that we both came from the same small town surrounded by wheat fields.
WSU, I love you. I love being a Coug. I will forever cherish this experience and the memories I made in this little town. I found myself in Pullman, and I know I’ll always find my way back home.