Sunday, May 13, 2012


Four years ago, I entered college in Nashville, TN, with 12 credits from classes in high school, waist-length hair, no minor, and a major in Digital Multimedia Communications, essentially a blend of IT and graphic design because I wanted art classes that my school didn't have.

Last weekend, I graduated from the same college with 148 credits, shoulder-length hair, minors in Art and Social Sciences, and a major in Communication Studies which I think is the most awesome thing ever.

While the last couple months have been rushed (as evidenced by the complete lack of posts), it's a journey I really didn't want to end. I've learned so much, and done things I never thought I'd even care about.

The first painting I ever did. It's a scarf.
Four years ago, if you had told me I'd discover a passion for communication and research somewhere between Research Methods in Communication Studies and Nonverbal Communication classes, I wouldn't have believed you. Or that I'd write for the school paper. Or that I'd help found the university's art club--and then lead it. Or that I would not only survey the entire freshman class for my senior project, but enjoy it so much that I'd voluntarily present the project twice, once for communication faculty and then again the next semester at the research symposium. Or that I'd study abroad and be completely responsible for researching and setting it up. Or that I'd learn to paint. Or that I'd fall in love with Nashville.

 It's been an eventful journey. I look different: I started growing my hair out when I was 8; when I was 18 I dyed a foot and a half of it hot pink, then bright blue, then chopped it off. I can look at pictures from four years ago and see how some people have changed--and see some who never came back; it can be disconcerting to realize how many people started with me and didn't finish here. Coming in, I drew cartoons for fun and couldn't do anything else: the first art class I ever took in my life was my freshman year, before an art minor even existed. Also, I was terrible.

I might have improved a bit, though my
ability to take *pictures* of my paintings has not
I don't think it's possible to overstate how much the people at this school have helped me grow. Professors make a huge difference in whether you actually learn or not--under other professors, I'm sure I wouldn't have learned nearly as much about art, or communication, or sociology. I don't think I've had a single professor who didn't know my name, and it's been a joy to have multiple classes with the same excellent professors. (Also, to Mrs. K the art professor: bless you for putting up with my ridiculously visual brain and its inability to decipher verbal descriptions.)

At turning points like this, I think it's common to be asked the question, "would you do it the same way if you had to do it all over again?"

No, I would not.

 I would come in as a Comm Studies major and save myself the grief of the few computer courses I took (I'm pretty sure Alice was created by the devil, or at least people who can stand to fidget with computer programs for far longer than I can). I'd start with a Sociology minor--I couldn't fit enough Soc classes in, so I did a second minor in Social Sciences instead, which includes Sociology and Political Science, which I also enjoyed, but also Economics. And I'm sorry, Dr. M, but I think it's painfully obvious that Economics and I do not get along.

But that's it.

I wasn't damaged by having to animate fighting ninjas in Alice. I like both my minors anyway.The news makes a little more sense after having taken the Global Economy class.

And I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss not having to cook, no matter how much I complained about the cafeteria. I'm going to miss having friends in close quarters. I'm going to miss class discussions that help add to my ever-lengthening list of Communication Things To Research When I Have The Time Because I Find This Fascinating. And I'm probably going to have to wait until I'm retired until I'm in an environment where I can dye my hair crazy colors to make people stare again. Although by that point, I probably won't need to bleach it.
Four years ago, I entered college in Nashville, TN, not knowing what degree I'd get, or what honors, or, well, anything. Makes you wonder what the next four years will hold.

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