Well, this is it. I am officially finished with my undergraduate career. Yes, I will be coming back for my master’s in the fall of 2011, but it won’t be the same. I have made some of the best friends of my life in the last three years, and after Saturday, I won’t see some of them when I walk around campus. When I walk into Scripps next year, I won’t see some of my best friends. When I walk into Bird Arena, I won’t see some of my best friends.
Graduation itself was a complete blur. Even though it lasted two hours, it seemed like it went by in a flash. I sat with some of my closest friends, who have been around for my entire time in the journalism school – some of whom, like me, are moving away in the next week to start the next chapters in their lives – and it still didn’t seem real.
Athens and Ohio University have influenced me in an irreversible way. I have gained so much passion, determination, focus and purpose since I’ve been here. In just three years, I’ve learned a huge amount about myself, things I never thought possible. The person I am today is not the same person I was when I came here.
After my experiences in the last three years, I can’t be anything but grateful. Grateful my parents gritted their teeth and paid out-of-state tuition so I could follow my dreams of being a figure skating coaching, synchronized skating journalist.
Yes, I finished my undergrad in three years, but I didn’t do it because I was done with Athens or OU, I did it because of money. Tuition, especially out-of-state tuition, is expensive. Thankfully, my master’s degree is paid for next year.
There were so many days in the past three years, even this quarter, when I would leave my house at 9a.m. and not come home until 9p.m. I would skate, teach, attend class and PRSSA and ImPRessions meetings, and I still somehow had time to have a social life and finish my undergrad in three years. I can still hear my numerous friends saying things like, “Do you have any free time?” and “Do you have time for a life?” But you know what? Even though I complained, and sometimes got overwhelmed, I am still passionate about every organization I was a part of, and I can honestly say I would do it all over again. I guess that just the Jschool kid attitude.
I did my best over the years to surround myself with people who shared the same passion that I had with the things they were involved in, but it didn’t always work out. I had some…interesting experiences with roommates, that’s for certain. Despite a few bumps in the road, for the most part I’ve made some lifelong friends – friends that I am positive will be a part of my life forever.
I learned valuable lessons stumbling across the brick streets of Athens. I lost a shoe (my favorite pair of nude pumps, to be exact) laughed, cried (not in public of course, because one lesson I learned here was that if you have to cry, go outside), learned and met some of the most incredible people in the entire world. I experienced the happiest and saddest times of my life at Ohio University. I grew up the most I have in Athens, Ohio. I feel like I owe this town so much.
I will forever be a Bobkitten and promise to make this university proud. My determination and ambition set me apart, and thanks in part to my experiences here, I know how to make my dreams come true.
This summer, I will be living in Washington, D.C. working for Shelley Moore Capito, a Congresswoman from West Virginia (my home state). I embark on my adventure tomorrow, and I can’t wait! It breaks my heart a little that I won’t be here for another Athens summer, but I’m excited to start a new chapter here in the fall.Follow along: