It's hard to believe that my college graduation already occurred over two weeks ago. It truly is amazing how quickly time flies. The ceremony itself went by in the blink of an eye, and before I knew it, I had my bachelors degree in news-editorial journalism. The four years in which I lived in Champaign while attending the University of Illinois were fulfilling, enlightening, maturing, crazy, unforgettable and some of the best years of my life. There is no other place like college. Where else can you sleep at any time of day? Where else is it acceptable to wander outdoors in sweats and makeup from the night before? Where else can you go out any of the seven days of the week (or all) if you so choose? The bottom line is, nothing compares.
I'm happy to say that I can look back on my college experience with many fond memories and accomplishments. I was the editor-in-chief of Her Campus Illinois. I landed a once-in-a-lifetime internship at Teen Vogue. I studied abroad in London and had the opportunity to travel Europe. I made friends that I know will last a lifetime. I went out of my comfort zone and did things that scared me, but were rewarding and liberating in the end. I developed or refined many of my skills of which I'm most proud, including writing, communicative, leadership and creativity. I helped facilitate a growing fashion-friendly atmosphere at U of I. I raised money for various philanthropic causes. I graduated summa cum laude with highest honors. And of which I'm most proud, I like to think I left a positive and lasting imprint on Champaign.
Graduation was a really bittersweet milestone. While I'm going to miss the unique atmosphere that a college town has to offer and living within a few steps of my closest friends, I'm excited for what's to come in this next chapter. I've never been one to easily accept and embrace drastic change, so I'm equally anxious and nervous to see what the future has in store. The worst part of this all is facing the fact that I'm getting older and real life with real responsibilities is setting in. What I would give to be 16 again. I guess all I can say is, bring it on.
I welcome the future with open arms.
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