Monday, September 20, 2021 / 1834 Wake Forest Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA

Class of 2020 Wake Forest Graduation

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I was supposed to graduate college on May 18, 2020, but after a long year and a half, on September 18, 2020, I finally did.


My parents, twin brother and I made the highly anticipated trip down to Winston-Salem this past Thursday for my long-awaited graduation ceremony.

I have been waiting for this trip for what feels like forever. When we booked our plane tickets a couple of months ago, I could not contain my excitement and the excitement hardly subsided all weekend.

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We landed early Thursday morning and went straight to brunch at Famous Toastery. Peter has never been to Winston before, so my parents and I got to show Peter my home away from home.

We couldn’t check into our hotel until the afternoon, so we decided to go to Old Salem which is a historic part of Winston-Salem with houses and buildings from the 1600s when the Moravians settled Winston. It’s right past downtown, so if you haven’t been, you must go! Think colonial Williamsburg vibes. I love history, so I think it’s a great spot.


Before dinner, my family and I met up with one of my French professors. This professor led the Dijon 2018 program and led me and the group all over France. I have stayed in touch with her over the years because I feel very sentimentally attached to her and our trip. Alex and I started dating in France, I met one of my best friends and I genuinely had the best four months of my entire life.

We had delicious antipasto at Quanto Basto on 4th Street before walking to Spring House for dinner. Spring House is a historic home that has been turned into a restaurant.

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We then went back to the hotel for an outfit change and went to our old dirty college bar, Last Resort (“LR”). It’s gross, but we love it! I brought Peter and he got a taste of what it was like to be a college student on a Thursday night at Wake.

I was so excited for LR but was sadly disappointed. A lot of my friends weren’t in town yet and honestly it was depressing being at one of my favorite places without my favorite people. I thought it would make me happy to see everyone all together again but I came to the realization that all the people that I care about, I still speak to and seeing everyone else from my class didn’t make my college experience, my friends did.

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Friday morning, I did some homework before going to breakfast at Young Cardinal on 4th Street. We then drove through the beautiful Wake Forest campus and walked to the Reynolda House Museum which is right on the corner of campus. We had a snack at Dough Joes, the best donuts ever, and my family headed back to the hotel, and I took a solo walk to campus to see who I could bump into along the way. Well, it was a lot of people! I saw lots of old friends while I was perched on one of my favorite benches on the quad. Every single person asked about law school and so many friends told me they love following my blog and seeing what I’m up to. I felt so loved.

I watched the quad get continued to be set up with about 2,500 chairs and the graduation stage in anticipation for the graduation ceremony.

Being back on campus with lots of people buzzing around felt like I never left.

At 4pm, my sorority hosted my graduating class in the lounge for a little meet and great with some of our sorority sisters.

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A half hour later, some of my best friends and I got to do a big Wake Forest bucket list item: touring the tunnels and the tower.

We started under my old junior year dorm: Huffman and took an underground tour of the heating and cooling pipes under the dorms that connect all the buildings together. With our Sharpies we signed every single wall, pipe and bare space we could find. The facilities staff was so excited and happy to see class of 2020 getting to check off another exciting activity that we always wanted to do.

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After being underground, we went above ground to the top of Wait Chapel.

We took an elevator up to the 3rd floor, walked up a tiny spiral staircase and then another one, to one level, where we could see the inside of the clocks. We got a beautiful view outside the little windows on the side of the tower. We then climbed up a tiny steep ladder to the tippy top of Wait Chapel where the bells are. Every night at 5pm, the Carillion bells chime. So, at 5pm, my group, being unaware that it was 5pm, had the pleasure and surprise of being scared out of our minds when the bells went off right next to our ears. We jumped out of socks, it was so loud and startling. But it was the coolest experience being up there when the bells went off.

We were very sweaty and dirty after our walk underground and our climb to the clouds, but I went straight to dinner with my family at our favorite Winston-Salem restaurant, Milners.

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We went back to hotel after dinner and changed into dressy attire for our Welcome Back to Wake cocktail party on the lower quad on campus. There was an amazing 12-piece live band, cocktails, lots of friends, families and dancing. The marching band welcomed us with our fight song and alma mater song. I got to see all my friends with their parents, and we were all reunited once again. The new president of the school spoke, Dr. Wente, she is a genius and is going to continue to lead Wake to greatness. Alex and I danced to the last song of the night, “Mr. Brightside,” if you went to Wake, then you know this is kind of our song. 

We were given tall glasses with the Wake emblem on them as our party favor and a ton of class of 2020 koozies. It was such a fun way to spend two hours.


The night wasn’t over yet. We had some more college bars to visit: Whiskey Box, a speakeasy, and Tate’s. I saw all my friends out drinking and socializing. It was a very fun continued celebration. I literally saw every person I wanted to see, and it made me so SO happy.

Everyone loves T&P and so many people told me that they use my links. I really feel so loved and supported by my friends near and far.

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Saturday was graduation day!

We had a very early morning. We had to be on campus at 8am to line up and graduate! We were welcomed home to campus with the bells chiming and lots of drunk graduates.

I teared up walking to my line up spot because I was so happy. We processed in at 9am sharp and took our alphabetically assigned seats under the scorching sun in our black polyester cap and gowns.

It was everything I wanted and more.

On the quad, I cried surrounded by my 700 classmates that returned home with me.

We had a very nice speech from Dr. Hatch, the former president, who was the president when I was a student for four years. He gave a touching speech about hope and how hard this past year and a half was but that he is hopeful for the future because of us. He spoke about how a lot of us are in medical school, law school and starting our professional careers, but he is hopeful that we can make a difference in the world.


The student body president, when I was a senior, who is also one of my sorority sisters, also gave a lovely speech about how much more we appreciate graduation and coming home to Mother So Dear after so much time apart.

May 2020 I would have been a WRECK and very sentimental, and I still am, but it’s a different kind of sentimental because I know how precious time is and how precious these special moments are, like graduating college, even though some think it’s trivial.

I walked across the stage, flipped my tassel to the left side, threw my cap up in the air and officially graduated.


We processed out of our seats, which took a longer time than the whole ceremony itself, and we were welcomed into the alumni family by our Wake Forest professors and faculty.

We took some quick pictures before fleeing the heat to brunch at Fourth Street Filing Station.

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I made an outfit change and threw on my black and gold regalia and my cowgirl boots for the Wake vs. FSU home football game.

There was a fly over and the classic Wake entrance with the football team storming the field led by confetti, fireworks (which is a new feature) and the Demon Deacon on the motorcycle.


We roasted in the sun next to the student section. It was such a fun game. We destroyed FSU and I gladly waved my pom-pom in delight especially as the family next to me who was rooting for our opponent. It was a very fun game and I’m so glad we won!

I am a proud Deac!


We grabbed a casual dinner at Cugino Forno, and my mother said it was the best pizza she has ever had in the country. I believe it too. The wood fire ovens are imported from Italy as well as all the ingredients. The owner is from Naples, Italy, so it’s legit pizza.

I grabbed a drink with some friends after dinner and went to bed by midnight, the earliest I had been in bed all weekend.


Sunday, I returned up north, eager to return to North Carolina next year for Homecoming.

This weekend was everything and more.

A year and a half ago was a really very traumatic and upsetting time.

Wake said they would have a ceremony, but it kept getting pushed back and back and although I didn’t lose hope, I accepted the possibility that it was very possible it wasn’t going to happen. I felt closure at the end of this summer after I had seen most of my friends, but then it was actually happening. It was genuinely the best weekend ever.

I felt like I never left Wake.

I got to do just about everything I missed out on senior year, and obviously those two months can’t be replaced but as Mellie, our class president said, those two months didn’t define our 4 years and all the other amazing memories we made.

Wake is the most amazing school and the most amazing place. I met my best friends and had the best four years I could have ever imagined. After my time was cut short, it was so painful, but I am so happy to say that I think this weekend made up for some of the lost time in 2020.

I can officially say I graduated now and am so so so soooo proud to be a Demon Deacon alumnus!

Go Deacs!


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