Graduation 2018: After 16 years Lipscomb native leaves home

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In honor of the December commencement ceremony, follow the Graduation Stories Series to read about some of the experiences of the December 2018 graduates. Family and friends are invited to join in the celebration at commencement on Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. in Allen Arena.  

Graduation Series: Taylor Sain leaves the herd after calling the Lipscomb campus home for over 16 years. 

As graduation inevitably brings college careers to an end, it can be difficult for students to leave the place they have called home for the previous four years. But for one student, graduation closes the 16–year chapter of calling Lipscomb home. 

As senior disabilities studies major Taylor Sain prepares to graduate, she also prepares to part with the place she has called home for more than 14 years. When she was 7-years-old, Sain and her family moved into Fanning Hall when her mother, Laurie Sain, was appointed residence hall director.

“Living on campus was so fun,” said Sain. “Being a girl, I loved that we were in a girls' dorm. I always had a babysitter that lived in the dorm, and I grew close to a lot of the girls who lived there.”

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Sain said there were three sisters whom she became particularly close to, the Quinn sisters. Molly, Katie and Betsy Quinn’s time at Lipscomb was spaced out just right for Sain to have at least one sister there for several years.

“They each worked at the front desk and I would go down there and play My Scene, Barbie and Disney games on the computer, and bug them while they were working,” said Sain.

When the students left for summer and Christmas breaks, Sain was able to freely explore all of campus, and she even invited friends over to do the same.

“During breaks, the lobby became my basement and campus became my backyard,” said Sain. “My friends and I would dance and play in the lobby. Sometimes, I would go down to the lobby alone and blast music and dance around.”

“I used to have sleepovers all the time,” said Sain. “My birthday is in July, so no one was in the dorm then. I had a birthday party in the lobby and a sleepover in an empty suite. My friends loved coming and eating in the cafeteria and going to Starbucks with me.”

Living on campus provided Sain with many unique experiences, but her most treasured campus event was Singarama, an annual student variety show, that her parents coordinate.

“Growing up around Singarama was the best thing in the world,” said Sain. “I love Singarama. Even before moving onto campus, from kindergarten on, I would be in every single practice that happened in Collins. I have probably seen 17 Singarama shows in my life.”

After begging to play a small role in Singarama when she was young, Sain finally got her time to shine. She participated in Singarama her freshman, sophomore and junior year. Her final year participating in Singarama, she directed her group's show, “Rise and Fall.” The show won first place, and Sain said it was the best way to end her time at Lipscomb and in Singarama.

Not only did living on campus present several entertaining opportunities, but it also provided educational opportunities and gave Sain a more serious view of college.

“I think living on campus gave me the maturity and independence that I have now,” said Sain. “My mom would have to be called away for an emergency so I would have to be flexible and get used to my mom not being there right when I needed her. Because my mom was working with girls right out of high school who are becoming adults, I think she trained me to go into college ready to be an adult.”

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As she began college armed with maturity, independence and a determined spirit, Sain took advantage of every chance provided to further her education and career skills.

“I worked hard in college, I did not slack off, I tried my very hardest to make my mom proud because she wasn’t doing an easy job,” said Sain. I have such a respect for her. I appreciate more than anything the sacrifices my mom has made for her family so that she could do her job well, so that I could have a good education.”

Even before starting college, Sain knew she wanted to get a degree that allowed her to work with those who have intellectual disabilities. Inspired by her late aunt who had Rettsyndrome, a rare genetic mutation affecting brain development in girls, Sain is graduating Saturday with her degree in special education Iintervention. She has already accepted a job at Friends Life, a day program for adults with disabilities, as a program coordinator.

Because of the mentors and connections she made on Lipscomb’s campus, Sain was able to work with Lipscomb's IDEAL program - for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities -  and intern at Friends Life. After moving out of her parents’ home inside one dorm, Sain moved into another and was the first female resident assistant for IDEAL the first year that program had a residential program on campus, an experience she said she loved.

“I may not have gone to Lipscomb if I didn’t live here, and I wouldn’t have made the connections I have,” said Sain. “I wouldn’t be working at Friends Life now, which is my dream job. I get to love Lipscomb for a different reason than the typical alumni. As a physical place, Lipscomb is my home.

I have felt very taken care of and loved since I’ve been on campus,” said Sain. “So many of my family’s milestones have happened on this campus. I will miss my home. It’s weird to leave my bedroom, my bathroom and our living room. It’s weird that it’s in the middle of a college campus, but when we’re up there it’s just my family’s home.”