Summer 2018 Was One of The Most Memorable Yet

Thank You, Summer '18, For Giving Me Memorable Experiences I Will Always Be Grateful For

I am sad to see you go so soon but I will always remember this amazing summer.

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"Time flies by when you're having fun" is the biggest understatement. You've probably come to realize this as you grow up and time quickly slips away. You blink and the whole summer has gone by. I think a lot of people can agree that summer is the season that we all look forward to the majority of the year. The weather is warm, people are happy, it's acceptable to take time off from work to be with your family, and it's a time when unforgettable memories are made. However, this season seems to be the one that goes by the fastest. We try to soak up every minute of it and live in the moment and when we think back on it, it feels like it was only a dream.

I have been looking forward to summer 2018 since summer 2016 when I finished my freshman year of college. It was this summer that I decided I wanted to partake in an incredible study abroad trip that my major was offering two years away in the summer of 2018. As a Dance major, my program at school doesn't offer a semester-long study abroad program. Instead, they offer a 3.5-week dance intensive in London every 2 summers. I knew I wanted to experience this amazing once in a lifetime opportunity. I had never been overseas to Europe and I was excited to expand my dance studies to a culture abroad. Even though the native language in London is English, I knew I was in for a unique experience like no other.

Summer 2018 finally came and I was counting down the days until I took off for London. To say this trip was one of the most amazing and memorable ones doesn't truly do it justice. I had the privilege of spending a month in one of the most beautiful places in Europe. The architecture was absolutely beautiful. There's something about old architecture that blows me away. There's so much history surrounding it. Each building, church, or even street light that I passed by had such intricate details engraved in it. It was like nothing I had ever seen.

I was lucky enough that in addition to taking multiple dance classes throughout the week, I was able to do a lot of touring not just in London but also all around England. I checked off over 20 items on my bucket list. Just to name a few, I visited:

1. Stonehenge

2. The Roman Baths

3. The Wimbledon Championships

4. Dover white cliffs

5. Canterbury

6. Buckingham Palace

7. Abbey Road

8. The Parent Trap House

9. Camden Market

10. British Museum

Being able to take a variety of classes from some of London's well-known choreographers was a surreal experience. I acquired knowledge that I wouldn't have gained if I hadn't had this experience. I soaked up everything that I could from the 7 2-hour intensive classes I took each week. I learned a great deal about myself as a mover and how I can move forward in my training. Taking this knowledge I gained back to my training and studies at school has inspired me as a choreographer with a new vocabulary of movement I was exposed to.

So thank you summer 2018 for giving me one of the most memorable experiences that I will always be grateful for. It flew by, but that's how I know I had a blast.

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An Open Letter To Those Not Graduating On Time

Graduating college in any number of years is an accomplishment to be proud of.
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To the person that isn't graduating on time,

It sucks, and I won't lie to you and tell you it doesn't. The day you walk out of Advising, head hanging down because you aren't going to finish in four years, makes you feel ashamed of yourself. You did well in high school; you were always told you were smart, expected to be smart, so why couldn't you make it out in four years like you were supposed to?

You know you're going to have to tell your family, so you begin preparing yourself for the worst reactions possible. And telling your friends you won't be graduating with them will only add to that sense of hopelessness.

Soon, you'll see photos and posts from people you left high school with, talking about graduation and the wonderful lives they are about to begin in their new careers. You'll wonder how they did it, and you'll feel like a failure.

But you're not.

Graduating from college is a huge deal. It really is. And it will be no less of an accomplishment in five, six, or 10 years.

"According to the Department of Education, fewer than 40 percent of students who enter college each year graduate within four years, while almost 60 percent of students graduate in six years. At public schools, less than a third of students graduate on time."

Things happen. You might change your major. You might have financial troubles. You may take a year off to figure out exactly what you want to do. That's okay. Take all the time you need. The real world and your career will still be there whenever you graduate.

Guess what else. Your family will still love you, and your friends will still support you. Give them some credit. Your loved ones want you to be happy and successful. Don't get me wrong, they may be upset at first, but give them a chance. Odds are, when the emotions settle, they will go right back to asking how classes are going. And when you do get the news that you'll be graduating, they will celebrate with you, and they will be there in the crowd, waiting for you to walk across that stage.

Graduation will happen. If you attend your class and study hard, it will happen. There is no reason to rush. Just do your best. Try your hardest. Take classes when you can. Just by doing that, you're doing more than so many others are able to do.

"Among 18 countries tracked by the OECD, the United States finished last (46 percent) for the percentage of students who completed college once they started it."

You'll get there. Take your time. Enjoy your classes. Find new interests. Study what you love. Embrace opportunities. Study abroad. Take that weird elective class. This is your time to take in everything the world has to offer. Take advantage of that. You'll graduate when you graduate, filled with pride and wisdom. And when they call your name, and you walk across that stage, hold your head up high, because you've earned every bit of your degree.

Graduating from college takes countless hours of studying, long hours in the library, and a tremendous amount of dedication. Don't add pressure to yourself by setting a timer. It is completely okay to graduate when you graduate, and it is still something to be proud of.

Best Wishes,
A woman who is finally graduating

Cover Image Credit: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/dam/assets/120417041415-education-graduation-cap-story-top.jpg

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Crossroads

Trying to figure out what to do in life.

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I never saw the crossroad

Where I could cross n' roam

Under an arch or dome. [1]

I just kept on the road

That was laid out,

Told to hold out

Till it pays out. [2]

Now I think its too late

Been walking too long,

Classes are all wrong

But masses too strong. [3]

So I follow with my head down

And chest up, succeeding cause

I'm too scared to fuck it up. [4]

But I have a need to lead,

Top-down and gears up

Leaving nothing to the dust.

But if I drop out, I'm a fuck up. [5]

Is it better to live and rust

Or drive till it busts

With trust you can find the way? [6]


[1] - Play on roam/Rome. Starts the poem by expressing the feeling of being trapped in my path in life. I felt like I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.

[2] - I think a lot of it was I was following what people told me I should be doing.

[3] - I have a feeling that it is too late to change my course of life. I'm in a college for business, taking classes about business, and everyone around me wants to do business.

[4] - This is saying that even though I am not passionate about what I am doing I am still trying to succeed only because I'm scared of failing or quitting.

[5] - I want to leave and lead myself, do something where I'm not following but I don't know how to do that. This part starts a car reference, idk I've been watching Formula 1 on Netflix and its dope.

[6] - This is the question I've been asking myself, wondering if I should continue on with my path or follow my passion.

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