Where are you from?


“Hi my name is ____________, my major is ______________, and I am living in ____________. OH, and I am from ________________.”

Anyone feel like they have said a lot of this these first few days of freshman year?

I have only been here for a few days and this is what most of my conversations (as you would expect) have consisted of!!

I got me thinking WHERE I am from.  In the context of just getting to know new people at college I am physically from Richmond.

But does anyone else feel like saying the LOCATION you came from does a super BAD job explaining where you are coming from? I mean- there are all kinds of very different people coming FROM Richmond… I think coming from RVA only defines a small part of what I am actually coming from. But somehow that is what we all use while giving context to who we are as people- probably because it’s fast and easy.

While I was introducing myself to people and we were exchanging the cities and towns where we were from (sidenote- I just smile and nod when people say their hometown because 75% of the time I have NO idea where it is #directionallychallenged) it got me guessing what they were actually coming from- and what I was coming from…and how it shaped each of us into getting to Blacksburg and having that conversation.

Here are some questions that can get students (or anyone!) thinking about WHERE (and WHAT) are you actually from….

  1.  Did you enjoy school back at home? Or did you watch the clock every day and count down the months/weeks/days until college?
  2.  Do you have brothers or sisters that you are missing? Or family that you feel has made you who you are?
  3.  Were you fortunate enough to get to see both your parents and siblings everyday? Or was your family split apart somehow and you miss them all?
  4.  Did you come from a home where religion was emphasized? Did that impact who you are today or how you present yourself?
  5.  Are you thankful for freedom in college because you grew up in a strict household? Or do you wish your household was more strict?
  6.  Do you have friends back at home or did most of them leave to go to college as well? Did they impact your school experience before getting to college?
  7.  Did you have a trusted adult/teacher/mentor that shaped your personality and viewpoints?
  8. Do you wish you had grown up in a different place or are you happy with your hometown? Do you think your hometown represents who YOU are?
  9. Before you left did you think you were ready for college? Do you feel ready now?
  10.  WHAT are you coming from? What led you here? Do you regret anything? What made you YOU?…WHERE are you from?

Just something to ponder while introductions are the biggest conversations happening now… Thanks for reading!!

Much Love, Hadley Carter {happy hc}

The #happyselfiegoodbye

Happy Monday everybody!! 

I knew that saying goodbye to my family and friends was going to be hard.  I would love to think of myself as a people-person but the idea of meeting all new friends (mostly new friends- luckily I do have some friends from Richmond also going to VT) in a new environment is challenging for anyone! 

So for me, the way to enjoy saying goodbye to all these friends and truly appreciate our last days together was making something happy and fun out of it!! So here we are at the “#happyselfiegoodbye” blog post!! (yes- I did have to add the “happy” part of it haha)

Selfies are very “in” right now and I thought it would be a cool way to document the goodbyes that happened… So if I asked you to take a selfie with me within the past week or so you are in this post!!


In general- spending a lot of time with (little) children isn’t what I would list as “fun” but there are some kids that I have practically grown up babysitting and these boys would fall into that category.  I will miss them and over the past six years of babysitting them I have learned a lot!! Love you guys!!


These two women on the right are my FANTASTIC (former) GAHS teachers!! I actually had Ms. Hach (middle right) in seventh grade and then she ended up coming to Glen Allen to teach and I had her again as a junior, and then as a prom chair and class of 2014 chair!  She is a HOKIE as well (she was a main reason I liked the school in the first place!!) and has given me a lot of confidence and inspiring quotes to now hang in my dorm room! Ms. Pantele was my tenth grade english teacher and she made me love the subject!  She is a PHENOMENAL educator and made learning FUN (I am not just saying that- she really did).  I will miss being able to walk into their classrooms after school to talk and laugh- thank you both for believing in me and being wonderful people.


My baby second cousin, Jack Ryan!! He was born early at 26 weeks and is now fighting really hard to stay healthy and strong!! I love him and will miss visiting him and my cousin (his mom!) Carolyn!!

jack ryan

I will definitely miss Katelyn Alsop!! She is married to Michael Alsop who used to be my youth pastor! I am SO blessed to have met them both- they have been so generous with their time, resources, and love to all of my youth group and are just fabulous people. I will miss them (and hearing about their wedding photography/traveling adventures!) dearly!!  Mallory (on the left) is one of my best friends who constantly makes me laugh/smile/cackle/laugh.  She is truly a JOY to have as a friend and will go SO many places one day. 


I nannied for these boys over the summer!! We had lots of adventures and I rediscovered my love for razor scooters.  See you guys next summer!!!


This is my  younger brother Grant and his girlfriend Karina who is a really great friend of mine.  It’s funny because I met her a little over a year ago and became really good friends with her.  Grant asked her out about six months later.  So yes- she WAS my friend FIRST.


I am going to miss my sweet mom and my adorable dogs SO much. ps. they love chocolate ice cream and will stalk you if you have it…I will not miss the ice cream stalking. Also- I didn’t get a chance to take a photo with my Dad but I will miss him dearly- all that I have been able to do has been because he has been working so hard in the background.  I love both my parents and will miss them dearly!!

the dogs

I actually only have to say goodbye to my friend Amber on the right!! Josie is going to VT and I am so excited about it.  Amber- you are going to do fabulous things at W&M and I CANNOT wait to see how many awards you will win as a second grade teacher one day!!


This is a classic car selfie with my boyfriend’s sister and grandmother! I am so lucky to have Andrew’s sweet family in my life (he is going to VT too!!) but I do have to say goodbye to Meghan (his sister)- one of my favorite people in the world. And a HUGE thank you to his parents and grandparents for being awesome and so kind to me!


These girls are just fabulous humans. They are all involved in the youth group I grew up in so I have spent a lot of time with them over the years. Besides Julia (who is in my grade and heading to Alabama for school) the rest of them still have one to two more years in high school and I am CONFIDENT they will finish their journey with flying colors!! Thank you guys for encouraging me when I was frustrated and always laughing at my jokes…you are FABULOUS people (I said it twice because I really mean it!!) and I can’t wait to see where life takes you.

gayton goats

My goodbye to my youngest brother, Wade, was hard.  We celebrated being college bound with Polar Pops and Sour Patch Kids because how else are you supposed to celebrate being college bound with your brother?! I know when I get back  for breaks he will have changed so much and I am so proud of everything he has accomplished.  Remember me when you are famous, Wade!!


Well- this is a RANDOM assortment of people but they all happen to have one thing in common- being awesome and tolerating how loud I talk in public, especially while getting ice cream at Ray’s. DePaul and Katherine- good luck as seniors in the center, y’all with KILL it and I will miss  you!! Bramber (Bryce and Amber)- thank you for never getting mad about the #livelaughlovebramber hashtag I made and thank you for being such a beautiful, tan, and SWEET couple.  Summer- thanks for being my friend through it ALL. You are such a blessing to everyone you encounter.  


These are my absolutely phenomenal best friends. They are some of the best people I have ever had the chance to meet and are going to be SO successful one day. Meghan, Amber, Mallory, Julia, Summer, and Heather- please know that you have impacted me in a way I that I didn’t realize people could! I hope you thrive in college and touch those all around you with your intelligence and unique personalities! Thank you for being my friend- I love you guys.


To anyone in my life but is not in these photos- THANK YOU…Thank you for putting up with me, laughing with me, and doing life with me. I truly appreciate you and I am sorry we didn’t get a chance to take a selfie but I will make sure to take one with you when I come back to Richmond to visit 😉 

I officially leave tomorrow for college. It’s crazy and insane but at the end of the day I am so grateful for all the memories I have because of the phenomenal people in my life. Thanks for everything guys and thanks for reading!!

Much Love, Hadley Carter {happy hc}

Mini Series (part one): HOKIE SPIRIT

Hey there!! I hope your week has gone well!

From the beginning (haha- like less than a week ago) the hardest thing about this blog was figuring out the technology behind it.  And it totally doesn’t hurt my feelings if you are laughing behind your computer screen because wordpress is known to be SUPER user-friendly and most people don’t have trouble figuring it out. But if you know me- you know anything technology related is not quite in my skill set and I have MAJOR respect for people that get GET it. To the people who are good at “techy” things and have helped me in the past and may help me in the future…thank you, you are fantastic, and I love you.

Moving on…

But one thing I can do is talk for extensive periods of time about random topics (sometimes too loudly and excitedly) so coming up with blog post ideas and writing them is VERY fun for me! I apologize for the rambling because that definitely happens!! One thing I immediately knew I wanted to talk about was HOKIE SPIRIT.  I wrote that in capital letters because HOKIE SPIRIT IS REALLY AWESOME.  I knew I wanted to do a series because every current and graduated hokie I have spoken with say that your spirit only INCREASES once you get to Blacksburg (I am taking this time to apologize to my parents… I have already started on a mission to get them to dress my dogs up as hokie birds for Halloween) and I want to document how my spirit and excitement grows.

I am planning to do a few different posts- before I get to Blacksburg, after a game or two, and then during winter break when I am back at home.

So here is my view of HOKIE SPIRIT as it stands right now while I am still living in Richmond…

  1.  I have never been to a VT football game…when I tell people that I am going to VT and never been to a game they normally give me a very concerned, surprised look. Haha- my parents didn’t go to Tech and so I wasn’t really exposed to hokie football!  I am SO, SO excited to go to my first game (yay, season tickets!) on the 30th against William & Mary but I don’t really know what to expect besides the videos I’ve seen…

Sidenote- Imagine me in my room late at night watching Enter Sandman videos…they were awesome on YouTube- I can’t imagine what it will be like in person!!

  1. The incredible community that I have already experienced….Before going to VT on my tour junior year all I really knew about Virginia Tech spirit was that everyone (including VT grads or children of VT grads or just fans) were INSANE about their hokies…like they were CRAZY! I mean car stickers, t-shirts, flags were everywhere! Before my tour I never really thought of it as a good or bad thing, that’s just how it was! But once I went through my tour of Tech I realized how incredibly awesome it was that you could travel pretty much anywhere in the country and find some sort of VT spirit. The community beyond Blacksburg hit me once I was there and I was hooked.
  2.  They said at orientation that we will get used to wearing maroon and orange together but I am totally fine with it now! Haha- that’s probably because I already have a crazy insane amount of spirit wear for not even being there yet. My t-shirt drawer wasn’t made to hold that many t-shirts (even when they are beautiful, vibrant VT shirts:) So when it comes to hokie spirit apparel I am good….for now 😉

Another Sidenote- The material attributes that I listed that made up a “crazy” hokie earlier…the t-shirts, stickers, and flags…I’ve managed to convince my parents into having every one of them (we found them at amazing, inexpensive prices too!!) so I guess that makes me a little crazy from the get-go.  Again- thank you to my parents and friends for putting up with me.

So far that is what I have experienced as it relates to HOKIE SPIRIT!!  I cannot wait to be in Blacksburg and be a full fledged hokie!! I am moving in on Wednesday the 20th and will definitely be trying to update this blog at least once a week with anything interesting I find out or learn while at VT!

Below are photos of myself and two of my good friends from when we were taking pictures for our graduation invitation, we all love our future schools very much!! Thank you Katelyn James!!

As always- THANK YOU for reading this, I am very grateful!! Talk you y’all soon!

photo 2.PNG photo 1.PNG

Much Love, Hadley Carter {happy hc}

THE Question: Are you excited?!

Hey there!

If there is one question that every almost-college-freshman or person in a life transition hears it is- “Oh my goodness- Are you EXCITED?!”.

First, to anyone who has said this- thank you for asking!! I actually have come to enjoy and anticipate this conversation starter but it most definitely is THE conversation starter to use in this period of life.  When someone asks me this question in a few seconds I have to decide whether to give them the “short” answer (just so I don’t go on and on and annoy them) or the longer, more emotional answer (I decided it’s okay if I annoy them and I hope they will still be my friend despite the long answer). Listed below is my short answer and then my extensive long answer…

1. Short answer- Thank you so much for asking, I am very excited!! It’s crazy to leave home but I very excited and I know good things are in store.

Side note- Everything in my short answer is true, haha, I just skipped to the end of my emotional saga.

2. Long answer- I am slightly FREAKING OUT! I definitely don’t know what is going to happen, and I am secretly afraid I might go to college, come home, and will have forgotten how to drive my car. I will also miss my dogs, miss my mom like crazy, and I am sad about leaving high school friends.  But I know that VT is the right place for me and I will love it!! I just wish the adjustment and transition time would go by faster! I CANNOT wait to meet new people but I am intimidated by having to make new friends! Thank you so much for asking- overall I am SO crazy excited and I know good things are in store!

Haha- both answers are very true but you never know which one you may get when you ask a college freshman how they are feeling about moving on and starting over!! Craziness! 🙂

Overall- I think almost-college-freshmen do really like and appreciate this question (I definitely do!) because if you are asking it means that you care; and that’s really awesome. On behalf of all almost-college-freshmen… THANK YOU for caring!!

Also- thank you for reading my college ramblings today!! I forever appreciate it!


Much Love, Hadley Carter {happy hc}

GAHS- I am one lucky gal

Hey guys!! Hope you are doing well!!

When people ask me (or if they have already asked me) what my blog is about my response is… “documenting life’s transitions and college experiences”.  So part of that definition includes telling the story of every part of my transition…which means I have to include what I am transitioning from…right?! Basically- I am trying to get your permission to brag about my high school. But- luckily this is my blog so I think I will do it anyways if y’all don’t mind 😉

I got so lucky.  Before high school I heard horror stories from my friends with older siblings about how horrible high school is and how everyone just wants to move onto college.  And while I do think people at my high school wanted to go to college I really didn’t understand these horror stories because I got so lucky.  I mean- I LOVED high school.  It’s probably a little embarrassing and if anyone from GAHS is reading this I am sure you are rolling your eyes, but hey- I really LOVED it.

So I am going to list a few reasons why Glen Allen was just a wonderful place for me and how much I really am going to miss it…

1. The Center (y’all knew this was going to be first, haha)- I am going to try and not tear up while writing this description (no joke- I LOVE the center).  In Henrico County we have several high schools and at each school there is a group of 200 (ish) kids/ 50 kids per grade in “The Specialty Center” and they all applied in 8th grade so they could attend a different high school then what they were originally zoned for.  These 50 kids take half their classes in the comprehensive high school and half just with each other learning about their specific specialty.  My brother currently goes to the Center for Engineering and I went to one for Education and Human Development (and communication, collaboration, leadership, public speaking…we did so much!!).  I developed friendships that I would have never had the opportunity to do if I didn’t go to Glen Allen.  Through The Center I was able to meet so many wonderful people that truly taught me so much!! The Center shaped who I am today and I couldn’t be more grateful. I’ll explain more specifically as the list goes on…

2. Being SHOVED out of my comfort zone- Y’all.  I was QUIET in middle school- I was so QUIET and if you looked up the definition of “follower” in the dictionary my photo would be there. Sorry- I probably should have warned you before making the cheesy photo-in-dictionary joke.  Now don’t get me wrong I LOVED my elementary and middle school friends- to this day they are probably the SWEETEST girls you will ever meet. Sidenote- One of my best friends from elementary and middle school is in one of my college classes at VT! Gotta love it when life comes full circle…love you Emily!!  But I got so comfortable just doing what everyone else did I never was my own person and I think needed a strong (and friendly) kick out of my comfort zone.  GAHS and The Center did that for me- whether it be just having conversations with people I had never met before or literally getting up and speaking in front of the class on the first day of freshman year.  I got to reinvent who I was by going to GAHS, I became more independent, and I was definitely happier.

3. Glen Allen opened in 2010 (my freshman year)- So my high school is currently the newest high school in the county!! There are lots of pretty windows because of that! It opened my first year as a freshman which meant that I was applying into the center in 8th grade before the school was literally THERE.  Because of this there was only a freshman and sophomore class and we were in this huge, new high school trying to create “school spirit”.  Total honesty- school spirit LACKED spirit the first two years- it was rough. But with each new tradition built there was more and more spirit and happiness building.  This gave me an opportunity to be a part of establishing tradition and clubs that pushed me to be more friendly and open to people.  I learned a lot about starting new things (I will go into more of this mindset in a later post) from GAHS.

4. The wonderful, beautiful, youthful teachers- When I brought my family members to any sort of sporting event or anything for school I could bet on one of them saying…. “Wait- THAT is the TEACHER?!?!”.  There are an incredible amount of youthful teachers at Glen Allen.  I chose the adjective “youthful” because even the teachers that aren’t as young (as in- not in their 20-30s) are totally adventurous and very exciting!! Although most of Glen Allen’s teachers are literally very young all of the faculty was bold, open, and happy!! They related to students beyond just “school” but they were also “life” teachers if you know what I mean. They incorporated everyday, important “life” lessons into their literal lesson plans. My teachers were INSPIRING and as cheesy as it sounds…they made me want to be a better person! I could not have asked for anything more.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to all my fantastic teachers- leaving the gahs teachers is really, really hard.

So- as you guys can see I wasn’t lying- I really am THAT kid that was obsessed with high school…but that’s okay because (healthy) obsessions make life a little more fun in my opinion 😉 I am one lucky gal when it comes to high school. I can’t wait to see how college goes!! Thanks for reading- I am so appreciative!!


Much Love, Hadley Carter {happy hc}


First Blog Post!!


How is everyone today?! I hope you are doing great!! I am so excited and SO HAPPY about this blog!!

For the past few months I had been toying with the idea of starting a blog but it took encouragement from a friend to really jump start me into the process of making it (Thank you Mallory!!). My love of reading blogs started in 2011 with photography/wedding blogs. I got very attached (and still am) with my good friend’s wedding photography blog and started branching out from there.  Over the past several years I have learned SO much about life from reading blogs.  I still remember the nights during sophomore year when I would sit in my room for a hour looking at blogs instead of watching tv with my family just because I loved them SO much!!  And yes- I still loved them even after I got teased for looking at wedding blogs as a fifteen year old 😉

I finally decided that I want a way to document my transition to college (hopefully how much I love it!!) so I can go back and see how much I have grown and how much life has changed.  In the “background” page I go more into why I decided to name this blog “happyhcblogs” and why my license plate is “HAPPY HC”!! It all started with the “name game” in fourth grade! Thank you SO much for visiting my blog and I encourage you to explore the pages I have already established (spoiler alert- in my “Happy Things” page I professed my love for Michael Buble!). I hope you have a wonderful Friday and a happy weekend!!  See you soon!

Much Love, Hadley Carter {happy hc}