The End of a Chapter

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Five and a half years ago I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. Little did I know then it would be one of the best decisions I have ever made. My story is a little different than most, not only did I come to UNCW because of its incredible academic reputation but largely in part to the fact that I had been given a scholarship to play golf on the women’s golf team. I had visited several schools for golf but when I visited UNCW there was something special about this place and finally four years later I can put that special feeling into words.

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At the time of my arrival as I freshman I had plans to major in Exercise Science but that would quickly change when I found out that the required labs for Biology and Chemistry would take place during the midafternoon and cut into my golf practice. Not only that, I sat in class watching the clock, waiting so anxiously for class to be over. My heart and soul was just not interested in that field that I once thought it was. I would find a new passion in me besides golf and thanks in large part to Dr. Weber, Dr. Persuit, and Dr. Pullum the classes I would take from these phenomenal professors and wealth of knowledge I would gain is one of the many reasons I am graduating as a Communication Studies major.

As I reflect on my past four years with graduation quickly approaching I think about all the professors and classes that I have taken, but two classes in particular stand out. Integrated Marketing Communication II and Advertising II. These classes aren’t your typical lecture and take notes with a lengthy exam periodically. These classes have clients and this is where you get to put all your skills and everything you have learned to use. I have been fortunate to work on projects such as Hurricane Zephyr (a full scale exercise in preparation for the potential of major category 4 or 5 hurricane to hit campus) and learn the steps to the renaming process. This semester in AD II we worked on transforming the IMC Curriculum, planning the first ever COM Studies Week and running the 5thannual ETEAL Instagram Contest. These projects have helped me grow with unparalleled experience as a student.



UNCW is more than a place to earn a degree, more than a university located by the beach, more than just a school. UNCW has become my home and has become a major part of me. I have learned more than I could have imagined, made more memories than I could have dreamed of, and built friendships to last a lifetime. To current students and students to come I encourage you to try things outside of your comfort zone, be spontaneous, and enjoy these years. They have truly been the best four years of my life and I hope they will be for you too! Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back from achieving your wildest dreams!

Thank you to all my coaches, teammates, professors, and friends for making these past four years the best four years of my life!

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”  –Eleanor Roosevelt


-Kayla Thompson