As I sit here, preparing to graduate tomorrow, I can’t help but look back on my college experience. When I came to UNCW four and a half years ago, I wanted to major in computer science. I loved computers and couldn’t imagine doing anything else, but life had other plans. I realized within my first year that the computer science program was not for me, and decided I didn’t want to program the rest of my life. So, I decided to take some business courses and thought that would be the way to go from there.
Yet again, I changed my mind. Once more, I realized I was not going down the right path when I took a few communication courses by chance. In taking those courses, I found that the communication major really catered to my strengths and intrigued me more than any of my business courses. The next semester I immersed myself in communication and it was the best decision I have ever made. With a communication degree from UNCW, I can now go wherever I want in the world, and I intend to do so!
I am looking at going into the field of digital marketing after graduation, or as one of my professors puts it “Big data”, and I couldn’t have found a better career for my skill set. Here I will be able to utilize my computer, business, and communication skills all at the same time. I guess the point I’m really trying to make here is that you just have to go with the flow. By this I mean that had I stayed in computer science or business I never would have had the opportunities that I do now. So thank you UNCW for helping me find my way, and showing me a great time in the process!
– Daniel Walsh
I’ve always wanted to say thank you to my “haters.” You know who I mean? The people who said I couldn’t do it. But you know what? Every single person I’ve encountered in my two and a half years at UNCW has been welcoming and inspiring on a daily basis. I’ve met so many friends during my time at UNCW, from playing basketball at the recreation center, or walking to class and playing Frogger across College Rd. It has been a wonderful time here and I’ve learned so much. Today I made my last walk down Chancellor’s, dealt with the iPrint system for the last time, and walked to my car in the library lot (where I didn’t get a ticket) for the last time. Each one of these things has been a part of my life for the last couple years and while I will miss them dearly, I am also ready for the next chapter. The blog below this one asked about the dreaded “So what are you doing now?” Guess what? I’m figuring it out, we’re all figuring it out and I’m positive that I will be happy and successful. Don’t let someone tell you to take the first job you find; Find the job that is right for you and can make you happy. A wise man once told me that you know you have a good job when you are pulling up beside the person next to you during your commute and you want to tell them where you are going. That’s the job we should all aspire to find.
But I digress, I did it, we did it, it’s almost done. Saturday’s coming fast and then what do we do Monday? Grind. Keep grinding like you have been for the past however long. If you can make it through this or if you’re in the process of making it through this than don’t quit. Whether you have seven more semesters or one more semester keep working hard and ignore the people who don’t have positive things to say.
I have enjoyed all my time here at UNCW, and the end of my final semester arrived before I knew it. It finally hit me when I walked out Leutze Hall for the last time as a student that graduation was almost here. I have to say that I am incredibly happy to be graduating. But, also a little nervous as well. As I get ready for the big day, getting my cap and gown ready, inviting family to the ceremonies, there is one thing lingering in the back of my mind. The lingering thought in my mind is, how will I answer the question that I will inevitably be asked hundreds of times in the next few weeks. What are you doing now that you have graduated?
This question while simple in nature has a lot of meaning behind it. While I feel pretty confident in my response to this question, it really puts you on the spot, and you run the risk of embarrassment if unable to give a slick response. More importantly when asked this question it really makes you think hard about your upcoming career choices and professional plans. However, when explaining your plans to someone else it might make your path even clearer for you.
As I leave UNCW with both my Communication Studies degree and plenty of fond memories I will leave one piece of advice behind for fellow students. Be confident and happy with the choices that you make on an every day basis, because at the end of your college career its these small choices that add up to define who you really are.
— Kevin Latshaw, Class of 2016
As I sit here and reflect on this being my last day of college classes- I am excited, nervous, relieved, proud, and ready for whatever is to come next! My college career did not start off on a strong note. I was a confused, scared high-school graduate who had no real guidance about what to do next.
I was nowhere near as academically gifted as my older sister and had little to no financial support. These factors led me to settling for attending a community college to obtain my Associate’s Degree. Although this did not mark the highlight of my college career, it did ignite a flame in my motivation that high school never could have. I could choose the classes that I was interested in and the subjects I chose to explore further. I was in charge of my own education and that inspired me. Before completing my technical program in Radiographic Technology, I got a feeling that I wasn’t working to the best of my abilities. This is the moment that I decided to explore my options at UNCW.
Three years later, I am so pleased to say this was one of the best decisions of my life. Although I felt a sense of giving up on my first venture, I knew that there was something so much greater waiting for me at UNCW. This amazing opportunity was found within the Communication Studies Department, the place I have called my “home” for some time. This department has allowed me to broaden my knowledge on the complex world of communication and managing relationships. My classmates and professors have inspired me to find the “real me” and be okay with exactly who I am. They have motivated me to keep going when I thought something was too hard, they showed me support and encouragement I had never known. My education and experience in this field have molded me into a strong, confident communicator. Although I do not have my next step lined up, I know that wherever life takes me I will be able to represent any organization or employer professionally and efficiently.
To those who may not be sure about their path in the Communication Studies Department, I encourage you to never give up. Even through tough group projects, never ending data inquiry assignments, and haunting clicker questions- you will find your chance to shine. You are valued as an individual and a communicator in this department, and that is something that has motivated me to succeed.
I look forward to what is to come after graduation, as well as the opportunity to remain an active and involved alumni member of UNCW. Although my career may take me to places across the world, I will still always be a beach girl at heart!
Congrats to the December 2016 graduating class! Although some of us may have been a little late to the party- we were always the life of the party!
CHEERS and Best Wishes!
Now that a mere twelve days stand between me and graduation, I can’t help but think back on my experiences here at UNCW and it is a bittersweet feeling.
I remember sitting in the auditorium at my high school graduation and thinking, “Wow. This is it. This is the last time I will be here in this school as a student with all of these people.” Now that I am about to graduate college, this past semester I have found myself taking in every long trek down Chancellors, long line at Port City even though I used Tapingo, and actually find the sound of longboards going across the bridge kind of soothing.
When I first applied to UNCW I had my mind set on finishing my undergrad in biology and going to veterinary school. Needless to say…that plan didn’t happen quite as expected. I found myself struggling in school like never before and just couldn’t seem to pull myself out of the deep, dark pit my GPA had yanked me into. After a lot of soul-searching, goal reevaluating and restless nights, I decided to switch my major to Communication Studies.
Even though this path was not my initial goal, I am so happy I did it. I’ve met some of the greatest people in this major and have created lifelong friendships.
This entire undergrad journey has been a 3.5 year-long soul-search, honestly. You learn more about yourself every day, as cliche as that sounds, and get to create yourself. These past few years have definitely had their ups and downs but as I sit here writing this blog, tears in my eyes, one of my dogs on either side of me, and preparing for my first day at my first full-time job in a few days, I can honestly say UNCW has been overwhelmingly good to me and I am forever grateful.
For those of you in a rush to graduate, SLOW DOWN! There were moments when I felt like college would never end, but now I find myself envying the lost freshmen decked out in their UNCW gear simply because I know the journey they have to look forward to.
To The School by The Sea
15 days till graduation 2 more days of school and millions of memories I will never forget. A lot of people are like are you so excited to graduate? What are you going to do when you don’t have school? You’re so lucky you don’t have class anymore! What people really don’t know is…
I am going to miss the all nighters pulled in club Randall with my friends because we procrastinated.
I am going to miss waiting in line for an hour at hawks for Chick-fil-A.
I am going to miss walking down chancellor’s yelling and waving to people I know.
I’m going to miss going to class and pretending I’m taking notes, but I’m really texting my friends the whole time.
I am going to miss the floods when it rains on campus.
I am going to miss the thunder sounds on the bridge as skateboarders come across.
I will miss going to MAW on a Tuesday night “just for fun”.
I will never regret a Thursday night at Red Dogs.
UNCW has given many memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. This school is like a community that all care about each other! The COM department especially is like a family. Choosing communication studies was not first on my list, but has definitely been one of the best decisions I have made in college. Waking up for that COM 200 8 am surely wasn’t ideal, but in the long run if that’s the worst thing I ever had to do.. Oh wait that 20 page conspiracy theory paper comes pretty close.
Even though not every class or assignment was my favorite it made me meet some of the greatest teachers and people I know today! I have loved every minute at UNCW and it has helped me become the person I am today! I am excited to take on the future and thankful for my little school by the sea!
CONGRATS CLASS OF 2016! MOMMA I MADE IT!
XOXO Kari Skillman
1,461 days since I left Germany to study in the U.S. – 1,461 days since I left my family, friends, and life behind to live my American Dream in Wilmington!
The 4 years at UNCW were an amazing experience that I will never forget! Being a COM studies major was the best decision E.V.E.R. because I got to meet amazing, creative, and the most authentic people in the department that have made an impact on me and my life. The Communication Studies department and especially the professors -some more than others- gave me confidence in myself and my future. The way professors cared about my future and career has touched me, and made me realize that I can accomplish anything that I want. I thank every professor for that, especially Dr. Weber and Dr. Persuit!
Integrated Marketing Communication in particular made me realize that Advertising is my way to go… It took a long time to know what exactly I want to do after graduation, but with many heart-to-hearts with professors, I realized to embrace this time. To embrace the unknown, the confusion about life, about myself, and most importantly… the confusion about my decisions for post-graduation; because at the end of the day, you will find your way!!
Being scared of and intimidated by the post-graduation time is natural and should be exciting. It is the first time to decide for yourself what YOU want to do – where YOU want to go, and – who YOU want to be.
I thank every person that came into my life during my time at UNCW and everyone who has helped me become who I am today. I am leaving this school with pride, as well as with a crying and smiling eye.
****WE DID IT! CLASS OF 2016****
Auf Wiedersehen and Goodbye, Seahwaks!