With my senior year at the University of Kentucky right around the corner, I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my time here. Coming to UK from a small town in West Virginia almost 5 hours away, I can confidently say I had no idea what I was getting myself into. People constantly asked me why I chose Kentucky, and I always thought I knew the answer. The truth is I was never 100% sure why I chose to come here. Honestly, it just felt right. 

Fast forward to the fall of my freshman year when I went to a meeting and heard some people talking about DanceBlue. I didn’t fully comprehend what it was, but as someone who had watched cancer take the lives of two of my classmates in high school, it was a cause that was close to my heart. With that desire to help others, I danced freshman year. I got my first taste of what DanceBlue truly was, and I knew I needed to do more. 

I applied to be on Morale Committee, and I was somehow fortunate enough to be selected (don’t ask me how because I totally blocked out my interview from my memory). Nobody can ever really prepare you for the experience of being on Morale. From the outside looking in, it can be easy to see Morale as just a crazy, costume-wearing committee that’s there to get the people going. As someone who has served as a Morale Leader for two years, and am now lucky enough to get to serve as a Morale Coordinator for my senior year, I promise you that it is so much more than that.

Morale is a family. It is made up of 48 kids (Morale Leaders), with a mom and dad (Morale Coordinators), some cool aunts and uncles (Mini Marathon Coordinators), and a grandparent (Mini Marathons Chair). Just like with every family, we go to big family dinners, road trip together to mini marathons across the state, share clothes (and costumes), and get lots of family photos taken. Most importantly, we are always there for each other. Whether its 2 a.m. of finals week or 21 hours into the Marathon, you can always count on your morale family to be there to lift you up when you need them.

It has been so humbling to be a part of this organization and it has truly given my collegiate career and time here at Kentucky a purpose, a passion, and a family. Looking back on these last three years, I can now confidently say that this is why I chose Kentucky. 

To any of you just now beginning your DanceBlue journey: I am so jealous. This organization will change your life.

And to all my fellow seniors out there: Let’s do this one last time, For The Kids.