Saying Goodbye is Hard

It’s incredibly surreal to think that graduation is just a few weeks away. I began college at Appalachian State University but decided to transfer my sophomore year to UNCW for the change of scenery and the Communication Studies Department—a place that has truly become home for me.

I founded and led Her Campus at UNCW as the editor-in-chief (I will miss the entire team so much!) and actively participated in various editorial and marketing internships. I served as the Vice President for Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Studies honors society with an amazing executive board and adivsor. And, I worked for Housing and Residence Life for nearly three years with incredible coworkers and staff, especially Lesia Heltzel. I was one of the lucky few who knew exactly where I wanted to go after college so I used my time as a undergrad to hone skills for post-graduation.

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I have met some of my very best friends during my time here and have been taught by the most incredible professors who truly care about the success of their students. This department has taught me real-world skills that I use everyday and I know that I will succeed in any workplace because of what I’ve learned during my time here. UNCW is a campus where you can’t walk a few feet without seeing a friend and having a conversation. The COM department’s students have become some of my closet friends and we have conquered the seemingly impossible together.

I want to individually thank Dr. Brubaker, Dr. Persuit and Professor Chin for being amazing teachers and showing the utmost dedication to students. Of course I was driven a little crazy by the end-of-semester deadlines (and clients!), but each of you have helped me to push past my limits and produce work that I can use in the real-world. Even though I doubted my leadership skills, you each had the confidence in me that I could lead my peers and succeed in and out of the classroom.

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After graduation, my plans are still unknown, but I plan to move to New York City to pursue journalism. I’m hoping that the right entry-level position will come around sometime soon. As excited as I am for the future, I will always have a place in my heart for UNCW and everything it gave me.

See you again, Wilmington.

P.S. Special thanks to Anna Joy and Tayler for helping me make it to the end of our college journey together.

-Kaitlyn Russell

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5 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye is Hard

  1. I really enjoyed this read. I will be a senior this fall and plan to graduate next spring, and you have helped me realize how precious my time here really is. Not only with school work, but with friends as well. I think it is awesome that you are going to NYC to pursue journalism and I’m sure you will find your calling! Congrats on graduating, and thank you for providing interesting blog posts all semester!

  2. Kaitlyn,

    First of all, congratulations on making it to graduation. That is a big deal. I wanted to say that I am glad you and so many other share the feeling that “Wilmington is like home.” I am from a town about 75 minutes west of here. That area taught me a lot about myself growing up, but I have learned more about myself in my two years here than the rest of my life combined. Like you, I am forever grateful for this town. Like I always say, “you don’t know true love until you know Wilmington, NC.” Good luck in life and in your career, stay humble, and never forget where you came from.

  3. Congratulations on graduating! What an inspiration you are to the Communication Studies department! As a current sophomore I aspire to have accomplished as much as you have in your time here at UNCW. Also I love reading the columns you post on HerCampus! That is so incredible you were able to be a part of that. Wishing you well!

    • I loved reading about everything you have done here at UNCW’s COM department and what you’re planning on doing after graduation! Journalism sounds perfect for you because you’ve had experience with this class and working for HerCampus. Best of luck to you and everything you do.

  4. I also transferred here after my sophomore year at Appalachian State and had I not transferred I would also be in the Class of 2015! We were probably in the same freshman class! It’s nice to hear a positive story from another transfer student since I hear so many negative stories of people not getting the classes they need or cramming in their necessary classes in order to graduate. I’m not as fortunate as you in knowing what I want to do with my life but at least there is encouragement in being in a dependable department. I also read the UNCW HerCampus columns! Good luck in the “real world”!

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