“Trevor Collins – Football” … three words that I once forgot, but now I never will. 

There I sat as a bright-eyed freshman at UNC’s first leadership meeting, Carolina Creed. A way to bring all teams at UNC under one umbrella and help us develop our character together. I sat in the blue zone of Kenan Memorial Stadium surrounded by 200 other freshmen athletes hoping they felt just as lost as me. I looked around at everyone seeing if I could find a familiar face… none. So, there I sat, the start of this college journey all on my own… or so I thought. In a room full of fresh faces, I sat with a group of eight others that would be a part of my “cohort” for the year. I’ve never been the best with names, and at that moment, I was caught up in trying to find people that looked like they could be a friend. My brain was all over the place so after we went around the table introducing ourselves, I couldn’t repeat a single name. Thankfully, someone remembered mine, but we’ll get to that in a bit. 

I walked out of that meeting excited for the adventure ahead, but slightly nervous that I hadn’t really made one friend in what I thought was going to be a great way to meet people. I dusted it off and chalked it up as all part of this “on my own experience.” 

Fast forward a few weeks, and I needed to find a date for the annual Country Club Cocktail. The Country Club Cocktail is held by the men’s and women’s golf and tennis teams at UNC. Somehow it was the rule that you couldn’t take anyone who was already invited. At that point, all my best friends were on both of those teams. 

Only three months into college, I asked one of my older teammates if she knew anyone I could take. She said there was this super nice football player, Luke, that lived in her apartment building and she’d ask him. 

Sure enough, Luke and I went to the CCC and had a great time. At the end of the night, he told me that his best friend, Trevor Collins, was in my Creed group. Unfortunately, I had no recollection of this person. But, I took note of the fact that he remembered me;) Later that night, my roommate and I searched “Trevor Collins” on Instagram. I remember saying to her “Ah, I remember him. Scroll down… oh he’s cute.” Then it came back to me, “Trevor Collins – Football.” He said it in a bit of a southern accent, confident not arrogant, playing it off cool but knowing this was his dream come true. Those were the only three words I heard from him that night. 

Now, if you ask Trevor, the story is a little different. He will say that I grabbed his attention and he tried to talk to me, but I was too distracted to hold any conversation. He says now, he wanted to ask for my number but was a little hesitant. I can tell you now, he probably didn’t love the idea that I was from north of the Mason-Dixon line and played golf. 

Regardless, we both had good reason not to skip out on our next Creed meeting. Our Creed group only met once a month, so in the meantime I kept my eyes peeled as I walked through our athletic facilities hoping I’d see him. Surprisingly, I found him in the printer room writing some edits to an essay(Trevor was never big on schoolwork). It was a quick interaction… once again Trevor didn’t have it in him to ask for my number. 

One month later and we were back at Creed. I’m not sure what that meeting was about, but I remember holding back a smirk the whole time. Something about this “too cool for school”  football player was making my heart skip a few beats. 

Before long, Trevor and I exchanged Snapchat’s and started a streak. Back then it was a crime if you broke a streak so, it gave us a reason to communicate with each other every day. Finally, Trevor had built up the courage and cleared his Yankee worries to send me a text. 

I will never forget it. I was in my intro to journalism class writing my first story that would be graded. We were given the whole class period to write. I was about 3/4 the way through the story when a text from “Trevor Collins – Long Snapper” popped up. It read, “Hey, what are you up to? Do you want to grab lunch?” 

Just like that, I dotted the last period and submitted the story. I shut my laptop and walked out of the class with the biggest grin on my face. The grin turned into a smile at lunch and then it stayed for the whole day. I remember my teammates being skeptical of why I couldn’t stop smiling. Trevor must have been smiling too because it wasn’t long after lunch I got a text if I wanted to go to a play that night. We were both in a drama class that required us to watch these plays on campus. We went with my roommate and two of his friends from the football team. I’d seen all I needed to see by what we called “half time”. Intermission came, we got up and walked out. I’ll never forget seeing my roommate shake her head. He walked me back to my dorm and as they say… “the rest is history.”

That smile was still on my face when I woke up the next day. I smiled straight into MEJO153 to pick up my first story and receive my grade. My professor, John Robinson, was smiling too when he handed me the paper and it read 15%. That’s the lowest grade I’ve ever received, but, I was still smiling. That’s the power Trevor has, no matter how bad things are, he always makes life better. I remember saying to my teammate later that day that the temperature was higher than my grade. It was February and only 30 degrees outside. 

Out of the winter and into the spring, Trevor and I began to spend more and more time together. Up until this point, boys were always some of my best friends and usually my teammates on the baseball diamond or basketball court. However, with this boy, things were different. For the first time, I wasn’t playing with him on the field, I was cheering him on from the stands. 

It wasn’t long before I spent most fall Saturday’s in the stands at Kenan Stadium watching #60 live out his dream. When I played close to home, he came out to watch me on the golf course- he’s even been on the bag a time or two! We supported each other in every way we could.

We were both Tar Heels, playing for two different sports but we became each other’s teammates. We spent the next four years growing closer and always working on ways to be a better team. We both graduated in December with diplomas, varsity letters, lifetime friends, and a love that would last long after we tossed our caps into the air.

As teammates do, you support each other in chasing their dreams. After graduation, I planned on moving to Florida to train and pursue my dream of professional golf. With Trevor’s job in Charlotte, this meant we’d have to do long distance. Thank you, Trev for encouraging me to go do it. 

But a year apart, only confirmed my belief that I want to spend the rest of my life with him. Trevor thinks so too. On November 13th, Trevor proposed at Appalachian Evergreens Christmas Tree Farm in Blowing Rock, NC. Two years ago, we were on our way home from a quick trip to Boone, when we passed a Christmas tree farm. I swear the trees went on for seven miles. I told Trevor then that when we were older I wanted to make it a tradition to go to Boone every year to get our Christmas tree. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

So, Trevor started that tradition by decorating one of the Christmas trees on the farm with ornaments of our favorite memories. In college, he asked me to be his girlfriend with a post-it note and the George Strait song “Check Yes or No”. This time, he asked me to be his wife the same way but on the back of an ornament.

After saying yes and a warm embrace, I asked him how he did all this. He said, “I had a little help.” At that moment, heads started popping out from all the different Christmas trees. It was both of our families. 

It was truly the most magical day and weekend. Trevor combined my love for him, Christmas, and family all into the best day of my life. 

Next December, we will tie the knot in the place that brought us together, Carolina.

I may have forgotten his name back in 2016, but that for sure won’t be the case when on December 17th we are introduced as the new Mr. and Mrs. Trevor Collins.

Now, we’ll wear a jersey for the same team and the same last name. Teammates for life. Thank you Carolina for bringing two teams, two Tar Heels, and two hearts together. We are so grateful💙

I love you Trevor, forever and ever. Amen.