Sarina McCabe ’18 (South Bend, Ind.) admits she has slipped and fallen while walking across campus this winter. But then, she added, she has fallen several times – literally and figuratively – while she has been at Culver the past four years.
McCabe was the keynote speaker at the Culver Girls Academy’s Crest Ceremony Sunday afternoon. The Crest Ceremony is the culmination of the 114 new girls’ orientation to Culver. They receive the crest patch on their blazers, which signifies they have been formally inducted as full members of CGA.
“When you slip and fall, the first thing you do is reach for someone to hold onto,” she said. “That’s how it works in CGA, too.”
While it may “sting a little” when you fall, when you have something to reach for, someone to help you get back on your feet, it makes it better. That is what CGA provides. “As individuals, we fall, we make mistakes. But together, we are unbreakable,” McCabe explained.
The crest is that symbol of being a part of something larger than yourself, she added.
“I have sisters here. My roommate, my friends, my classmates. There are so many incredible, powerful CGA students that I learn from every day,” McCabe said. “You inspire me. You teach me to be soft. You teach me to overcome obstacles and to know that I am strong because of my community, because of all of you.
“Even though things may get tough, I know that I can make the choice to make light of it and push through, because I wear this crest.”
When she arrived at Culver, McCabe found herself “surrounded by a whole community of people that wanted to empower me, to see me succeed.” The girls receiving their crests Sunday should know “we are now here to support you in your journey through CGA.”
She added it is time for all of CGA to prove they are capable, that they can “be intelligent and graceful, ambitious and gentle, confident and reflective. That crest you wear on your blazer symbolizes balance. It symbolizes courage and service and a rich history of tradition and friendship.
“Work hard but take time to laugh, too. Sometimes, we fall down, and it’s embarrassing. When things feel uncertain or life here gets tough, it’s easy to get scared. But, at the end of the day, even the tough moments are part of our journey.
“And I promise, things that seem embarrassing now . . . they’ll still be embarrassing later,” McCabe said. “But they’ll also be funny, too. Please know that it’s OK to be nervous, or to feel like sometimes life here can be a roller coaster.
“But when you put on your blazer, I want you to think about the family around you. CGA is a family, united by the crest we wear.”