UNCW has been my home away from home for the past four years.  The relationships I have made here will be the ones I cherish forever.  Friends and professors taught me more about myself than I think I’ll ever know.  As graduation slowly approaches and the stress of finals suddenly begins to fade, I hope to feel more relaxed and prepared for the world out ahead.  Although it is scary to enter the real world, I will keep my Communication Studies professors in the back of my head. I will carry COM400’s advice and skills with me through each future endeavor I face.  I can now reflect on what I have learned, completely focus on myself, my own goals and how I can achieve them.   I never thought that during freshman orientation I would be walking across the stage as a Communication Studies major wanting to pursue a career in public relations nor did I think it would happen so fast.  I am confident in myself and the things I have accomplished in Wilmington.  I know I have been given the skills I need to reach success.

I faced experiences that have challenged and tested who I am as a person.  I have lost loved ones, moved to California for a year on my own, started new relationships and ended bad ones, and I put myself out there to build my professional portfolio.   It’s crazy that it all comes down to one day, one day where all those trials and tribulations will all come together and show who I have become. It is a moment where I can sit with my peers and laugh about the moments we dreaded.  From COM200 probes to COM400 portfolio presentations, we know we shared those times together and helped each other get to this very moment.  We will be able to celebrate the new beginnings we face and wish each other the best.

Without my UNCW experience and the relationships that I have built among the Department of Communication Studies, I have no clue where in the heck I would be today.  So, for those of you itching to get out of school, take a moment and look around and do not take your college years for granted, for they are the most important years of your life to discover yourself. Cheers to my fellow seniors and what is yet to come!!!


Leanna Marshall