It seems like just yesterday I started here at UNC Wilmington. Throughout the last five years, my life has changed so much. If you had told me five years ago that I would be graduating from UNCW with a degree in Communication Studies, I would have never believed you. For the longest time, I had dreamt of being a Pediatric Oncologist. I attended medical camps, took every science class possible, had an internship at the OBGYN, which might I add was still one of the best experiences I have had. When I came to UNCW I was still actively pursuing the medical career path. However, two and a half years later I realized that a career in the medical professional field was not the right fit for me at the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to have a career in the medical field, just not right now. We never know what the Future holds for us.
It is kind of funny how things change. When I first came to UNCW I felt so out of place, which was strange because I had dreamt of the day I would come to this school and major in Biology. After completing my first year at UNCW it was decided, I was transferring. Every class I took was a struggle. I went from being one of the top twelve in my class to a student who struggled to get by in each of their classes. After finals for the Spring semester of 2015, I applied to Appalachian State University and got accepted. I was so ready for a new chapter in my life. After spending a year at my dream school and feeling so out of place. The more I sat and thought about it over the summer the more I realized that I was meant to be here. I ended up at UNCW for a reason and I am more than happy that I did. I came back for my second year, again with my sights set on a Biology degree only to find out that it was not for me. I continually pushed myself in a major that I was not pleased with to appease the people around me. I was no longer doing something that made me happy. I was fulfilling these goals everyone around me had for me. It took me three semesters to truly realize that the only way I would be happy was to change my major.
Spring of 2016 I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I signed up for some general education courses hoping something would spark an interest and it did. I took COM 104 – Concepts in Communication Studies. Little did I know that this general education would lead me to find the degree I would graduate college with. Class registration came around and I thought to myself, “are you really going to give up on your lifelong dream?” So again I signed up for Science courses, and again I struggled. Finally, I made the decision to make myself happy. No more taking classes to appease the people around me. This was my future in my hands. So during the Fall 2016 semester, when registration time came I thought back to my semester of general education classes and I remembered the COM 104 class I took. I started researching all the career paths one could pursue with a Communication Studies degree and then I decided, this is it, this is the major I want to be a part of.
Even then I still had no idea what I was getting into. I did not realize that I would finally find my one place at the university where I fit in. I did not realize the types of relationships that you could build with professors. Nor did I realize the importance of Communication Studies. I remember sitting in COM 105 thinking to myself, “how much could there possibly be to learn about communication?” Thinking back on it now I realize I had a lot to learn. I am so thankful for this major and the opportunities it has opened up for me. One person that has made this major so special to me is Dr. Scott. The other night I was talking to my roommate about the people and things I will miss at this university. I said, “How do you express gratitude for someone that had such a monumental impact on your college career?” Dr. Scott, thank you. The only words I can say and they are the simplest. I cannot thank you enough for what you have taught me in my time as a Communication Studies department. You have truly shown me how much potential I have to grow as a person. Your strength in adversity is inspiring. You care so much for each individual student that you teach and it shows. You have so much knowledge. UNCW, the COM department, and I are all lucky to know you. Thank you for being a mentor to me and so many other students. If any of you are reading this and you have the chance, take a class with Dr. Scott. I took three with her and I wish I had the opportunity to take more.
To UNCW, I am so lucky to have the opportunity to attend here. I cannot actually imagine what my life would be like had I transferred. I have been given so many opportunities in Wilmington and at this university that I would not have gotten anywhere else. Thank you to each professor in the COM department that every taught me anything. Whether that be course knowledge or life lessons. The UNCW COM department is truly unmatched, but I may be a bit biased. To each student just entering this major, you are in for a wonderful ride. You are about to embark on a journey like no other. My only regret is that I did not find this major sooner so that I could have taken advantage of all that it has to offer. Good luck to all my fellow Seahawks.