Thank you, UNCW!

Can I write this without getting teary-eyed? I don’t know. Let’s test it.

I, unlike other students, have only spent two years on this campus. Everyday I regret going to community college and not coming straight to UNCW. I had no idea about the endless opportunities university life has to offer. I never realized how many opportunities I have been given in these past two years until now. I have been given the opportunity to lead our major’s organization, to host several large and small-scale events, create marketing materials for campus-wide events, meet famous people, be a part of a printed publication through internships, work with awesome peers, the list goes on. But most of all, I have been given the opportunity to truly find myself with the help of this institution and the collective body the makes up UNCW. I have been given the confidence to believe in myself and the skillsets I possess. I have found that I am a graphic designer, a photographer, a strategist, a team player, a performer, a public speaker, and a leader.

At the end of high school, I had been intimidated by a university setting because I thought I would never fit in with a group of people or truly enjoy my experiences. Boy, was I wrong! The Department of Communication Studies has given me awesome peers, friends, and most of all, a solid group of trustworthy, professional connections for the future. Working with minded individuals through this major has given me a fulfillment that I would not have gained anywhere else. We are all in this together in that we have to explain that we DO NOT just learn about how to talk with people! In fact, we are problem solvers, critical thinkers, creators, and inventors. Through choosing communication studies, we have the privilege of taking what we learn and applying it to any field we are interested in. This is why I am leaving UNCW with a great amount of confidence.

I am thrilled to know I will forever be apart of the community that is UNCW and am proud of the person I have become through my experiences here. To anyone who is reading this, remember to keep an open mind with COM and venture out into unfamiliar territory. Your major has mapped out that opportunity for you. The more you learn about the communication studies curriculum, the more you will learn about yourself and discover the person you have destined to be. It’s hard to believe that for me, this time is now.

No, I’m not crying yet, but on May 11th I’m sure I will be whether it is from happiness, sadness, or relief! For now, Wings Up, and as Dr. Olsen says, PEACE OUT!

– Jennifer Mabes