Four years ago, almost to the exact day, I was beginning packing up my room of my childhood home. I was excited to finally be living on my own, 7 hours away from my parents, free to do whatever I wanted. But I was also nervous because I had no idea what was about to happen. Little did I know, it was the beginning of the best four years of my life.
I'll never forget my freshman year, meeting so many people who have changed my life dramatically. A whole new side of me was emerging, and I remember loving this version of myself. You see, my life really went from 0 to 100, real quick. I went to a private Baptist high school where I could get in serious trouble for literally anything, so I spent most of my high school years sneaking around, trying to get into the least amount of "trouble" as possible. Freshman year was the first time in my life I was completely surrounded by unfamiliar faces, unfamiliar places, and I had no responsibility of living a certain life or maintaining a certain image - I could do whatever and be whoever I wanted. Luckily, I met some amazing people who showed me the way.
College has given me some amazing, and some just utterly stupid, memories I will never ever forget. I have gotten to experience so many different things I would have never gotten the opportunity to experience otherwise, and I have learned so much from these experiences. These experiences have truly shaped me, as I really didn't know who I was when I came into college, so I know these memories will stay with me forever.
Of course, these four years have thrown some hard times my way as well. When you are beginning a journey of exploring yourself, there are tons of ups and downs. I'll never forget what one of my roommates told me once, "Growth isn't linear." And I can say for a fact that I have grown a LOT over these four years.
I am so thankful I was able to attend a world-wide renowned university and received an amazing education, and I'm so proud that I did it and will be graduating on July 31st this summer. Every single person I have come across, every single experience I have lived through, even random faces I have passed on campus and walks to class, has shaped me tremendously, and has made me feel so incredibly lucky I got to have a true college experience. FSU was nothing but extraordinary, and for those of you who know, Tallahassee is an awesome city to attend college in. I can't believe this was my life for four years.
It has barely hit me that I am leaving all of this behind - that a chapter of my life is ending and a new one is starting. I would stay in college forever if I could, but that's just how I feel now. I don't know what awaits me, just like I didn't know four years ago when I was packing my room up. I am so lucky to have had something that makes saying goodbye so hard, but these past four years have shown me to embrace the unknown, embrace change, because this next chapter of life will be amazing, and so will you.