The first time I ever stepped foot on The University of Indianapolis campus, I immediately knew it was the school for me. I was beyond excited to start a new chapter of my life at a new place and in a new city. Freshman year, I came in as an elementary education major, determined my passion was to teach children. However, it took me that whole year to realize that wasn’t the case. I decided to change my major to communication and a concentration in journalism, not knowing anything about either of them, before the start of sophomore year. Needless to say, to this day, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I spent most of freshman year meeting friends, having fun and getting used to college life. So, sophomore year, I decided to become involved and take things more seriously. I became an Executive Director for UIndy Dance Marathon and I joined The Reflector, the UIndy student newspaper. Prior to joining, I was sure I knew how to write. I had a diary when I was in middle school, so I figured that was enough. Little did I know, it wasn’t. However, I quickly learned. With classes, Dance Marathon and The Reflector, I became overwhelmed, fast, but I learned how to multitask and cope with all the emotions of a college student.
Junior year, I only got busier. I became president of Dance Marathon, along with Sports Editor on the paper. I was so busy, but I loved every second of it. Being busy was my normal. Through both of these organizations, I found my second home. These organizations and the people involved in them became my second family and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
To all my friends from Dance Marathon, thank you for letting me be your leader the last two years. Thank you for believing in me and my decisions to make the organization the best it could be. Thank you for your ideas, creativity, teamwork and your willingness to attend our late night meetings. Dance Marathon gave me lifelong friends and a passion for making a difference by helping others.
To all my friends from The Reflector, thank you for letting me teach you, but teaching me, too. Thank you for all your hard work and your passion to report the news and dedicate so much time to make the paper the best that it can be. Thank you for being a part of the team and being so willing all the time. I’ve learned so much about journalism and will take that with me wherever I go.
My four years were a whirlwind of feelings, emotions, happy and sad moments, but it’s everything I could have imagined. I’ve made friends, lost friends, gained more friends and those ones will be the ones I will carry on with me years after college. I’ve worked hard, accomplished a lot, been denied and turned away from things I wanted, but it’s all been so worth it and I wouldn’t take back any of it.
To my professors, Jeanne, Koehn, Scott, my good friend and colleague Jayden, the entire communication department and all the others at UIndy who have made an impact in my life, I wouldn’t have accomplished so much within my four years here without all of you. Even though it’s my time to go, I will miss being on the third floor of Esch Hall every day of week, sitting at production for 8 plus hours, saying hi to my friends in the hallways, and every other little thing the university has given me, big or small.
One thing I learned is that college is meant to be messy. It’s not perfect and well, it won’t make you perfect. You will make mistakes, but you’ll learn from them. I’ve lost myself, but I found myself, but in the end, I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud of what I’ve learned and what I can and will contribute to the world.
A piece of advice: Become involved. Take time to join organizations, see what they’re about and go out of your comfort zone. Make a difference within the UIndy community and do things that you’re proud of. FIND your second home, like I was able to find mine.