I’ve learned and grown so much since I began in 2007. Back then, I was an anthropology major with long brown hair and a fear of all things social. Now, four major changes and hundreds of boxes of red hair dye later, I’ve finally settled on journalism as my area of study.

Last week I began my senior year at Weber State University. Along with causing some sleep loss and making me actually start to use my planner, this has gotten me to thinking about the time I’ve spent at WSU.

Many other students are in their senior year here at WSU, and I hope they’ve all achieved the personal growth they hoped to gain from the college experience. I’ve always been very grateful for educational opportunities. Along with the knowledge I’ve received, I’ll also be taking away real life lessons thanks to WSU.

Knowing that I am capable of pursuing what I want to do with my life is the most important thing I’m taking away from WSU. My major, along with other students, might be considered riskier than those, say, in business or computer science. College in general has given me the chance to change my mind, make mistakes and realize my personal potential.

Perhaps every venture I try won’t be successful, but at least knowing that what I want to do is tangible if I work hard enough has been so exciting. The closer I get to the end, the more real it becomes.

Another equally important lesson I’m taking with me is that life really isn’t fair. There isn’t always going to be a parking spot, even though you did pay $60 for a parking pass and your class starts in 10 minutes. The essay you’re so proud of might just seem mediocre to your professor. One of the kids involved in your group project will ultimately “forget” about their duties, which will knock points off of your big assignment. Becoming comfortable with this lesson gracefully has been a hurdle for me.

One final thing I’ll be taking away is acceptance of others. I’ve taken classes from three different WSU campuses, in many different fields of study and with many people from different walks of life. WSU is teeming with diversity, and every student has different ideas, goals and philosophies on life. Being able to see through others’ eyes has been humbling and changed the way I see through my own.

As I dive into this semester, I’m going to try to enjoy the little things about college. Even the late-night cramming and waiting in line to take a test. In the not-too-distant future I’ll be learning the job market and seeing where opportunities will take me next. I try to not psych myself out too much for the future, though. Along with my education, WSU will be sending me out into the “real world” with a lot of common sense and life experience.

To all seniors — good luck in these last semesters at WSU. To everyone — keep it up, do what you’ve always wanted to do, try something new, and leave early to get a good parking spot.

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