It’s funny to think about how college turned out for me. First, UNCW was not my first choice. I thought it was too close to home and I wanted to go to a bigger school, in a bigger city, to a school with a football team. Then, I thought for sure I would graduate college in 4 years. This was in 2011. Turns out, going to college an hour from home allows you to watch your brother play football his last two years of high school and for the following two years, go home to ride with your parents to his college games. It also allows you get your car checked out at your preferred shop, trips to the doctor or dentist don’t require a weekend trip, and at the drop of a hat you can go home because “you just feel like it.” As far as graduating in 4 years? That went out the window the second week of the second semester. However, I would not go back and change it. If I have learned anything during my time in Seahawk Nation, it’s that everything happens for a reason. You may not see it right now, but trust me when I say that next week, next year, or maybe in few years you will see.
As I look back there are many reasons why I can honestly say I am happy that it worked out the way it did. It gave me time to figure out what I really enjoyed doing. Thank you to Chris Montero of Centro Hispano who is a Com Studies alum! I went through a very rough junior year and I had a hard time figuring out what path was for me. He helped me find COM Studies and I LOVED it from the first day in Dr. Weber’s class. Taking that time allowed school to be much more enjoyable and less stressful once I found my path. It also gave me the opportunity to spend a semester living with two of my best friends, and across the street from another before two of them graduated. The most important and significant thing that came out of being a fifth year senior, is that it gave me one final opportunity to do something I had been dreaming of: Studying abroad. After 3 1/2 years of telling myself that I couldn’t do it while others kept telling me I could, I submitted my application in February of 2015 and in June I went to the Dominican Republic for 6-weeks.
It is hard not understanding “why” or “how.” For me, it was three years of that mixed with tears and plenty of stress. My advice is to find those people that will listen to you vent and encourage you to keep trying when you want to give up. Find those who will take the time to really know and understand who you are in order to help you get on the right path. Do not get discouraged because you have to go another semester or another year. Figure out what you can do with that time and take advantage of those opportunities. Everything happens for a reason.
Congratulations Class of 2016!!