Thanks for the memories…

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.

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  1. You never seize to amaze me Annie! I am overwhelmed with all you’ve accomplished and just as proud of you as any parent could be! You hold a very special place in my heart and I will always keep my eyes on you! You go forth in all your beauty and glory, and show Washington DC, what you’ve got! I’m behind your every step!!!
    Love and hugs forever,
    Please don’t forget us h’yere in WV…
    Momma #2… ♥

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