If I’m being honest, I have been looking forward to writing this since I think my sophomore year when I first joined the Pine Log. And now that I am, it still doesn’t feel real to me. I keep saying to myself “You’re graduating soon,” and feeling like it’s a prank of some sort. But it’s the truth, and it’s staring me right in the face; I am graduating soon and will no longer be a college student and instead heading off to the big world.  

I will be a little honest, there were some moments during my four years that I thought would lead me to just quit school and pursue something else, such as when my grandpa passed away from a heart attack in my first semester of freshman year or when I was behind on credits because I just could not for the life of me pass the required math classes (it just doesn't stick with me). But I'm very grateful for staying because if I didn't I wouldn't have met some of my closest friends or even just some great people. And to me, that is just as important as getting my degree.  

In sticking with my honesty, I have to come clean on why I majored in Mass Communications/ Journalism. It was because during high school I watched Gilmore Girls and saw how Rory Gilmore navigated through the journalism world. I gave it a try and now I can proudly say I was not only a staff writer but also was the Opinions and Life and Arts editor for The Pine Log. If it was not for that introduction to the world of the Gilmores, I don't think I would have found joy in any other field. And in learning all about Mass Communication, I wouldn't have thought about learning more about advertising and that being another possibility for my future.  

There have been some ups and downs, and honestly, I might even focus more on the downs of the past four years. But in the end, I think I not only have grown as a person but have gotten to learn more about myself and the world around me. I am so lucky to have been part of many communities within SFA, as each one should be proud of their bravery and selflessness. It gives me hope that you will one day make the world a better place.  

I know I won't be the only person who talks about how COVID-19 changed things for them, as it has affected the whole world in many ways to the point of not knowing if we will get to fully recover from this. But it did help me to understand you shouldn't take things for granted. Because again, if I'm being honest, I do miss walking to my classes and getting dinner with my friends and going to the different places in Nacogdoches. I miss being able to be on my own but also not alone. I miss just being part of a community that understood. And most of all, I miss just being on campus. Yes, I will get to return for my graduation ceremony, but only for a bittersweet goodbye.  

If you told 17-year-old me that I was going to really miss this campus and everyday life at SFA, I would say you're crazy and to just try and get out of here fast. But it's just the truth, and that’s something I’m not afraid to be honest about.  

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