If I even began to put into words what four years of college at the University of Kentucky have done for me, I would fall short of finding the perfect thing to say to encompass all my memories, laughs, growth, and relationships. I honestly cannot believe that this day is nearing so soon. Yes, I am crying. I never knew what kind of experience going away to college would give me, but through it all, I can say that this journey has been packed with a lifetime of moments to keep my heart warm for the rest of my life.
When I reflect on what the University of Kentucky has given me, my farewell seems a lot easier to write. Beyond friendships and education...it's given me something much deeper.
It's given me the gift of strength.
A strength I can find when I am weak. A strength that builds me back up stronger and reminds me no matter how high the mountain may seem or how hard they say climb is, I can fearlessly go places I never thought I could before. With strength, I will not only move mountains, but I will fearlessly create them.
It's given me a breath of fresh air.
A reminder to be wise in the decisions I make and to always be conscious of the world around me. It's given me the wisdom to know when I am acting like my best self and staying true to my beliefs, as well as accepting the difference in beliefs around me. With wisdom, I can seek to understand the world on a level that doesn't define who I am, but who we all are. Human.
It's given me the gift of adventure.
A willingness to be spontaneous in a life where time stops for nobody, even though sometimes a pause button would be really nice. An adventure to fulfill every day, living it like it was my last. With adventure, I will never stop seeking to explore the beauty in every day and the silly joy that brings smiles to a righteous way of life.
It's given me hope.
A hope that I can make my mark on the world. A hope that I can impact someone's life. A hope that is fostered in my ability to change someone's day with a smile, a kind heart, and spreading love to those who need it most. With hope, I can believe in something greater than myself. With hope, I will live in faith to see the best in every opportunity and or challenge I face.
It's given me courage.
The courage to dream the biggest dreams and the courage to go after those dreams. The courage to believe in all of my dreams and to never let them die, no matter how dark the world may get. With courage, I will never stop fighting for what I love and I will never let my passions die.
It's given me optimism.
A genuine glow that comes from lasting friendships and memories that will forever leave my soul happy and my heart inviting to share those memories with everyone I meet. With optimism, one bad day won't change who I am, it will make me who I am. Better, bolder, brighter.
But, above all, the University of Kentucky has given me the power to be WHO I AM. It's allowed me to develop into a better-crafted version of myself, ready to take the world by the horns. I cannot thank this life enough for what it has given me! Thank you, Kentucky, for my impacting friendships and for being the reason I often find myself tearing up because I have to leave. And thank you, Odyssey, for letting me write all of these articles, especially my last! It's time I go and conquer this next chapter of my life, but don't worry — this won't be the last of me!