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.


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.


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