16 Years

by Meredith Winnett

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”                       — Closing Time – Semisonic

After 16 years of school, I am finally done. Yesterday, I graduated college with a BA in Communication. 16 years of sitting in classes. 16 years of homework. 16 years of cramming for exams. 16 years of meeting people who changed my life. For now, the school chapter of my life is closed.

Look! I graduated!

I’ve been trying to draft this post for a few weeks. Seriously. I started writing this after my last post on April 30th. However, I am in complete denial that I have to graduate and enter the real world.

Even wearing my cap and gown and sitting through my three-hour commencement ceremony, it didn’t hit me. It did hit me, though, earlier today. I saw a teacher I had in elementary school who knows my mom. I said hi, and she asked, “What do you have, another year left?”. I paused, and told her, “No, I actually just graduated yesterday.” The rest of the conversation was a blur as I kept repeating, “I graduated yesterday” in my mind.

Everyone told me 4 years ago that the next 4 years would be the best of my life. The usually followed with how quickly they would fly by. Not one of those people were wrong.

My professors became mentors, and friends. They were people who genuinely wanted to see me succeed. They supported me, and they gave me advice when I needed it. I will always be grateful for the professors I had in the Communication department.

I fell into an amazing group of friends, which refined itself just in time for an incredible senior year. These people were there for each other’s ups and downs. I can’t imagine how college would’ve been without them. We had so much fun while learning life lessons together. There is no doubt in my mind that they will all be successful in their chosen career paths.

My parents, my grandparents, my brother, and the rest of my family have been amazingly supportive too. First, I moved two and a half hours away, and they were fine with that. Then, I decided to travel across the Pacific to Vietnam for two weeks. At first they were terrified, but they accepted it. Finally, I wanted to go to Washington DC for a semester. After all the traveling I had done they kinda had to let me go. All these trips created a priceless college experience, and I can’t thank them enough for their support.

So now what? Well I interviewed for a paid internship in Boston, but with finals and graduating I haven’t had a chance to call them. That’ll happen tomorrow for sure. But what happens after tomorrow? Job applications? Most likely. Traveling? One can only hope. I honestly have no idea, but I know I’ll end up where I want to be.

I’m proud to say that I will be continuing this blog as a Westfield State University alumna. Until next time!

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