My Last Semester of College ...

5:57 PM

If someone had told me four years ago that I'd be graduating college on time, I would have laughed.

No, seriously. 

Because had I known sooner, I was actually eligible to graduate this past December as I met my major and credit requirements. But I took an extra semester to finish my minor and take some electives I've been dying to take. To be able to know that I started college late and was able to graduate early, is mind blowing to me because I was so lost when I first started out. 

I started college by withdrawing from a university three weeks after moving in. I didn't know what I wanted to do, I wasn't even sure if I wanted to even go to college. I had no other options other than going to community college and figuring it all out or start working full time immediately. Sitting home and doing nothing was not an option for me. 

Reluctantly, I enrolled in community college about a month after the regular semester had started. I foolishly thought I was above community college, but I will tell you this: community college was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I changed my major three times there and did not waste my money while earning my associate's degree. I still received all of the credits I would need to transfer to a four-year school and I was better off for that once I got to Rider University. 

I started college a month late. I started off with four classes in a 10-week mini semester that honestly kicked my ass. I was not ready for college, and having four classes that were three hours long each meeting period twice a week was R-O-U-G-H. I didn't think I was going to make it, but I did. 

I still struggled with my spring semester. I had realized that I would need to take six classes a semester in order to catch up and graduate community college on time so I could graduate and transfer. Taking six classes a semester required signatures by the Dean and so much scrutiny from my advisors who thought it was too much. My parents were also concerned since I was working part time and my entire life seemed like I was stretching myself too thin. 

But I did it. I spent nights crying because I didn't understand statistics and running off of four hours of sleep because I got out of work two hours later than expected. My weight went up and my junk food habits definitely increased. I binge watched Netflix to procrastinate writing research papers. I cried out of exhaustion for not knowing what the hell what I was doing or why nothing seemed to be working out. 

But I also discovered that writing and art were my passions and out of everything I had sampled, that was the niche I fit into and the only two things I didn't seem to half-ass, as Ron Swanson would say. I knew that I couldn't be a financial advisor or be a business major, I couldn't take history classes forever or study minerals or try to be happy majoring in anything that didn't actually bring me happiness. 

I took a journalism class on a whim my sophomore year and wound up loving it. I took the second part of the class my spring semester and graduated with my associate's in Communication Arts and wanted to further my college career at Rider. That journalism class helped me in so many more ways than I ever thought imaginable. For instance, I knew more on journalism, reporting and editing than most of my classmates at Rider and was able to be waived out of some classes because I already had the experience from community college. 

In four months, I'll be saying goodbye to Rider. I don't know how I feel about that. 

I have loved every second of being on that campus since first arriving in the fall of 2015. I changed my major to Public Relations, landed an internship that would be the start of my professional career, took classes that helped further me professionally and personally. I also met some of the most sincere and helpful people. If I'm being quite honest, I'm really going to miss it. 

I am also so excited to start my professional life. The prospect of no more classes, homework, late studying nights or research papers makes me tremendously happy. 

So, what was the point of you reading this reflection of my college career? 

College is definitely not for everyone. I know that. I hope you know that as well. I didn't think it was for me when I first started. I later discovered that it was. So if it's not for you, find your niche, your passion in this world. Turn it into your career. Help others. Never think you're too good to try something or do something. 

If things aren't going your way, they will. I wholly believe that everything happens for a reason and that just because it's not the route you pictured, does not mean you won't get to the destination you had in mind. 

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