I am now in the last week of my bachelor's degree. It feels surreal saying that. For four years I have been doing school full time. It has been a normal part of my life, so it's crazy to say my degree is coming to an end. On the one hand, I am so excited to graduate and have a break; finally; it has been almost nonstop school these four years with the longest break being two weeks. I look forward to having nothing to do, no assignments, or deadlines, or grades for a few months.

I'm also proud of myself for accomplishing something I initially never dreamed I would. After high school I wasn't sure about getting a degree and if I did what I would get that degree in. I also doubted my ability as a writer. My first semester in college I didn't know how to cite sources. I wasn't even sure how to go about dividing paragraphs or how to properly use commas. I had never written fiction or poetry and didn't think I ever could since it didn't seem like something that came naturally.

Well, I can confidently say now that I did all those things and more. I learned how to cite sources in multiple methods, and now it's like second nature. When starting my degree, I only wrote nonfiction, but I decided to challenge myself, to try fiction just to see if I could do it. I ended up doing a second concentration in fiction and writing 50 pages of a novel and a complete short story. Then I did a poetry class and wrote eight poems. Something I was convinced I could never do. But I did it; I did all of it and more.

Even more than the degree, the title of having a bachelor's, I'm just so happy to have challenged myself and did things I never thought I could. College is about seeing how strong we really are and all that we can accomplish. Going forward, I am confident in myself as a writer and confident to keep challenging myself and doing what I didn't think I could.

My learning does not end here. It's just the beginning. Better equipped now, I feel like I can learn and do anything I set my mind to, and this brings me back to the words my violin teacher gave me while I was still in high school. I had been committed to practicing violin every day, and she said, "Corrinne, you can do anything you set your mind to." And I have never forgotten those words. They still repeat in mind every time I challenge myself, cheering me on. And now, more than ever, I know those words are true. I can do anything I set my mind to and so can you. So, in this season of graduations and new life may you challenge yourself, believe in yourself, and do what you never knew you could. I promise you won't regret it. Good luck and congratulations!