In my last 22 and a half years of life, I never thought I would be looking at college graduation. We never had much money growing up, and only 3 people in my family have gone to college. It was never something that was super important to me, and I had even thought about enlisting instead.
After deciding against enlisting, I started looking at colleges. I wanted somewhere that was far enough away that people wouldn't be bothering me all the time, but also close enough to where I could go home or have someone visit without it being a huge deal. I also wanted somewhere that was different from where I grew up. I wanted somewhere that wasn't consumed by the water in the surrounding area.
So I started looking in Pennsylvania and came across Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. I fell in love with the town, the people, and more importantly, the school itself. It had everything I was looking for, so Ship quickly became my top choice in schools.
After 4 years here, I've made some of the greatest friends I could ever ask for and fell in love with such a small little town that I don't want to leave. I'll miss seeing the interesting townies walk the streets. I'll miss the people I've met, and everything being such a short distance away. Of course, I'll miss being on campus and seeing the beauty of it every day.
College tested me in a lot of ways and made me push myself, but I always had the greatest friends and roommates to help me through it. From parties, random APB events, ice cream trips, and hiking days, the memories go on and on.
I would never be here if it weren't for my great friends pushing me to do my school work, and all of my professors working with me and getting to know me over the past 4 years.
I never thought a poor kid with a learning disability would be graduating with a Bachelors degree in 4 years, but here I am and couldn't be prouder of myself.
Thank you, Ship, for the lessons you taught me in and out of the classroom, and more importantly, giving me a place to call home. You will be greatly missed.