23 days. That’s how many days I have left as a college student.
You might be thinking, “oh great, I bet this is another one of those sappy goodbye columns that all graduating Optimist members write,” and you, my friend are correct and should prepare yourself because this is going to be the sappiest letter you’ve ever read.
I’ll be honest, when I first came to ACU I wanted to transfer out after my first semester. I had a difficult time adjusting to college life, especially so to the quirks of our beloved campus. (Chapel? Every day? Really?) Come the start of the spring semester, I was looking forward to March, not because of spring break, but because that’s when I would find out whether I had been accepted to the University of Texas at Austin and would be 5 long hours away from the A-B-I in the fall time.
Well, March came and I got my admission letter. It was the small one. That meant I was stuck in Abilene, stuck at ACU and stuck in what I thought would be the worst 4 years of my life. Dramatic I know, but cut me some slack I was only 18.
The spring passed by quickly and so did the summer, leading me to my sophomore year which was just as mundane as my freshman year; that is, until I met with my advisor one fine spring day.
While discussing my schedule for the next semester, I found out that in order to graduate, I had to earn credit by working for two semesters in one of the student-media organizations in my department, with one of those semesters having to be spent at The Optimist.
I applied to the paper and was made the Arts and Features Editor with only having minimal writing and design experience. (I was terribly under qualified, but thank you so much for hiring me, Brittany Jackson.)
I started my job, and over the course of my junior year I started to think that maybe this was how college was supposed to be. I was having fun and I finally felt happy. Tired, because balancing schoolwork and a job is never easy, but happy nevertheless.
Finding my niche at the paper gave me the confidence to branch out and become more involved in my department, leading me to make some amazing friendships that I hope to have for a very long time, so thank you to The Optimist for being the starting point for the best last year I could have hoped to have.
It took me two years to start calling ACU my home, and now as the days climb from April 23 to May 13, I grow more excited to enter the “real” world, but also sad at the thought of leaving the one I’d only just come to love.
This was sappy, cliche and barely a column, but deal with it because I’m only graduating once. Boy, I really hope I pass my finals or else this column will be really embarrassing to read come May 14.