Are You Ready To Graduate?

Are You Ready To Graduate?

The question I always get asked as a senior in college that I now have an answer for

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In multiple articles, I have written and I have shared that I am a senior at the University of Cincinnati (UC). I have also shared that my situation is a little unique in that I am what is considered to be a "third-year senior," meaning that I am graduating from my undergrad in three years rather than four. Another element that makes my situation unique is that I am a double major and I am also receiving two certificates. I try not to talk about myself a lot in fear of coming across self-centered. However, whenever I am asked "what year are you?" or "what is your major?" and I share these details the typical response is a surprised "oh," usually followed by the "so you are pretty smart than" comment.

I want to clear up that I don't consider myself to be overly smart. At the same time, I pushed myself in high school by taking Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and Dual Enrollment courses, thus, allowing me to enter college as a sophomore. I have continued to push myself in college by declaring two majors and two certificates to become the most well-rounded and marketable person I can be when I graduate and begin applying for jobs.

However, there is a third question I want to address that is always, at some point asked in the conversation. I was never sure how to answer until this weekend after talking with a friend. "Are you ready to graduate?" That is the burning question. And my answer: Yes. Also, my answer: No. As annoying as that may seem, yes and no is the answer that I have settled on, but also feel the need to explain.

Why yes. Well, being that I came into college as a sophomore I only had to take one general education class over the past four semesters. Therefore, I have spent almost all my time here at UC focusing on my majors, certificates and learning about what career path I would like to take. Through this journey I have taken classes that I have absolutely despised, some I have absolutely loved and would take again, and then others that fell in between. But when I take time to look back at the classes that I really loved, they are all classes that involved some type of application.

Whether it was a project, an application report, or several smaller projects throughout the semester, I was taking information that I had previously learned and finally applying it to a real-life situation. I was dipping my toe into the pool of what my future could possibly look like. Obviously, these classes are a more simplistic version and I would be naïve to think otherwise, but they have gotten me excited for what my future could hold and to simply put it, what I could be doing with my life.

Why no. Where I grew up you attended preschool all the way through high school with pretty much the same people. I came to have a great group of friends by the time I reached middle school, and it was in high school that by the time I graduated, the group of friends that I have feel more like extended family. I am lucky enough that several of my friends within my friend group also decided to come to UC. If they aren't at UC then they are most likely at OSU, however, I do have a few friends that are a little more up north or out of state.

Still, I am lucky enough that our break schedules align and we can hang out whenever we all come home. These friends I have laughed with, cried with, taken countless adventures with, traveled to different states, gone to concerts, amusement parks, celebrated holidays, the list goes on and on. But May 4, 2019, is a date within this academic year, and that is my graduation date. With no plans to attend graduate school I will be the only one of my friends that is "in the real world," the rest of my friends will still have another year, some even have two years, left of college to complete.

I am excited and feel prepared to enter "the real world" after what I have learned in the classes that I have loved. Nothing can take away the indescribable feeling that I get when I talk about dipping my toe in what I call my "future pool." In that sense, I am ready to graduate. But at the same time, I would be lying to myself if I don't acknowledge that I am still trying to accept the fact that I am graduating a year before my friends. No more daily hangouts in the summer, no more random adventures. We aren't all going to be graduating together and we aren't going to be experiencing "the real world" for the first time altogether. I will be on my own without my extended family there for me for the first time. That is why I am not completely ready to graduate.

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20 Lessons You Learn When Living In A Dorm

I never know what to do when someone is in *my* shower stall.
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As a child you grow up unable to wait for college. Unable to wait for the freedom. Living with your best friend sounds like a dream come true. But living in a 10x10 cinderblock room? Not so much. You don't truly know what it is like to live in a dorm until, well, you've actually lived in a dorm. Living in a dorm is a lot of fun, but it has its downsides:

1. Fear of someone taking “your shower"

2. The fight for a washer/dryer

3. Or when someone takes your wet clothes out of the washer and puts it on a table before you get to it

4. Locking your door because you never know when someone will randomly barge in

5. Its 2 a.m. and you're dying of thirst but your roommate didn't fill the Brita

6. You've become immune to the gross hallway smell

7. Cleaning services always clean the bathroom at the most inconvenient times

8. Having killer legs because the elevators are out of order every other day

9. Cinderblock is not soundproof, so you can hear everything your neighbors do

10. Learning to make the most of your small jail-cell of a room by adding pictures and string lights

11. When someone is in "your bathroom stall"

12. Forgetting you can't walk around barefoot because the floors are disgusting

13. Trying to be quiet when you're roommate is asleep (the worst)

14. Dining hall hours are AWFUL (and the food isn't great either)

15. Or when your roommate brings someone back to the room

16. Putting stuff in your fridge is like playing Tetris


17. Having an 8 a.m. class on Friday but the Thirsty Thursday crowd comes home wasted and screaming at 3 a.m.

18. When your package says it was delivered but housing didn't send the email saying you can go pick it up

19. You have no control over the heat so in the winter if you close the window it's too hot but if it's open you freeze

20. But despite it all, living in a dorm is a right of passage and a time you'll never forget and a place you'll never want to leave

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To My High School Friends, You're Part Of My Past, And You're Going To Be Part Of My Future

You've all been amazing and I hope that I have the opportunity to tell each and everyone one of you exactly why in person.

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Even though this article is going to be published after Galentine's Day, and I most definitely will be mentioning more than just my gal pals, I figured that this is the best time to give a shoutout to my friends back home. This article is dedicated to the people I grew up with or met just before college, the people who impacted my life in more ways than one and helped shape into the person I am today. Without childhood friends and the groups I joined throughout high school, my life would be so much different and much blander.

We all have those friends

As we go through school year after school year and then some, we all have those friends we can never forget. The people who were there for us at our highest and lowest points, the people who will be there for a lifetime. These are the friends who know exactly what to say and when to say it. They're more than just your best friends. They're the people who will be there within the second of your call, no questions asked, and the people who will be there through it all.

Friends that became family

Growing up with my extended family all the way across the country, holidays and major life-changing events were celebrated with our closest friends. These friends were five or six other families with children around my age, that I got to see plenty during the year, oftentimes practically every week. I spent countless nights at each of their houses, with many of the older kids seeing me as the annoying little sister they had to look after. There were annual trips up to the Poconos and several photo albums to make to commemorate them that I still look at to this day.

My mom once posted a picture on FaceBook with the caption "There are friends. There is family. And then there are friends that become family." Looking at the photos that went along with these words, I find that there is nothing truer. While we may not be related by blood, the memories that we have made bond us in ways that are stronger than you could possibly think.

Childhood friends and memories

These are the kids I met, starting in kindergarten and spending at least six hours a day with until middle school. My friends from this part of my life got to know me as the shy girl with a couple of close friends, and eventually the awkward person I became as I grew up and puberty hit. But, they were still able to look past all of that. With these friends, I colored like it was nobody's business and swapped books when it was time to go to the library during school. I ate lunch and played kickball with these kids. While we may talk once in a blue moon or not at all, these are still the first friends I made and the friends that I will never forget.

High school life

Very few kids from my middle school ended up at the same high school as me, so going into my freshman year was quite scary. I knew that I was going to be surrounded by hundreds of strangers and that I was going to need to find a new group of friends to hang out with. But, being apart of a program at my high school lightened the load and help me out quite a bit. I became close with the thirty, eventually twenty, other kids studying animal and botanical sciences with me and look back at the field trips, events, and competitions we participated in for kicks and giggles. I made friends outside the program, of course, getting close with my peers in various classes and electives, finding a group that I could talk about things other than farmer business with.

Eventually, towards the middle of my junior year, I found my niche with five other girls who really got to know me. These were the girls that I could spend hours talking over the phone or texting about dumb things, the girls that I still talk to regularly today even when we're over hundreds of miles apart. I know these girls like the back of my hand and miss them every single day. I look back at the countless photographs and Snapchat videos with a smile on my face and laugh a ton. They're the friends that I look forward to seeing when I go back home, the friends that will forever be in my life. I plan on being at their weddings, even if it means I have to crash the event (inside joke!).

Just a small thank you

Just like I said, this article is dedicated to everyone I mentioned above and then some. It's a small show of my appreciated for all of you, along with the joy and laughter that you've given me. It's my way of saying thank you for the most significant memories and years of my life, providing me with the ability to look back at certain places and things, only to burst out laughing or into tears. So, with my whole heart, thank you, everyone. Thank you to everyone who I fought over stupid things with, everyone I laughed so hard I could barely breathe with, everyone I cried over cartoons with, and honestly just everyone who I've had the opportunity to meet and spend time with. You've all been amazing and I hope that I have the opportunity to tell each and everyone one of you exactly why in person.

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