Goodbye Avon, Hello Athens

Goodbye Avon, Hello Athens

What I've discovered since leaving my hometown Avon, Ohio and beginning my new life as a student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

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Twelve weeks ago today, I didn't know where my life would be right now. A year ago from today, I didn't know where my life would be right now. I only knew who I was then — a senior in high school. One who barely understood the idea of college and, with all honesty, didn't put much effort into trying to. I loved high school. As a freshman, I remember thinking that four years was a lifetime of... time. And for a while there, it did seem that way, time always seems that way — that is, until time runs out.

Each year passed by steadily until senior year arrived. Senior year came and left in the blink of an eye. Then came graduation, a surreal moment and spark of reality. Graduation didn't feel real. Naturally, summer followed... which was quite the drag. College gloomed over what felt like the entire summer and all of its aspects. My life slowly began fading into my future.

Eventually, my future arrived. And now, I'm living that past future. I'm here — at college — a rather long, anticipated arrival. I thought time passed rapidly in high school, but college proved me wrong. Since I've been here, imagining myself in high school is difficult. I did enjoy high school, but I did have regrets. I wasn't too involved. I didn't play sports. I didn't join many organizations. I wasn't friends with any upperclassmen. I mostly focused on my grades, only being content with them. I didn't think much of what I did mattered. And with all honesty, up until senior year, I was okay with my high school decisions. It wasn't until I started applying for college that regrets overflowed my mind.

People live on the idea that "everything happens for a reason" and I never quite caught on until after I graduated. Once I graduate, I realized that all the choices I made as a high school student, has shaped me into the better student I am here, right now at Ohio University. I can get involved — in sports, clubs, etc. I can befriend upperclassmen. I can strive for the grades I want. I can do anything I desire to as a student here at Ohio University.

So, I'd like to thank my high school self. Thank you for not caring as much as you should've. Thank you for being foolish and enjoying more of the social side of high school, rather than the academics. Thank you for trying your hardest, and understanding that it'll pay off. Thank you for choosing to attend Ohio University for the next four years.

Each year in high school brought me a new sense of happiness and knowledge that I wouldn't trade for the world. Here in college, every day is already a new adventure and each day only gets better... I can't wait to see where my journey here goes in the next four years.

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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