I first set foot on Weber State University’s campus three years ago in April. I was eager to see the school, and Ogden, before I committed to transferring from Dixie State University.

While I enjoyed my time in Southern Utah, I was ready to get out on my own and interested in the forensics program that WSU offered.

My tour was short, and at the time, construction was still on-going for Tracy Hall, but I nevertheless enjoyed the campus. Shortly after my visit, I officially applied for WSU and began my first semester in fall of 2014.

Despite feeling so prepared for the change over the summer, when I got to WSU I immediately found myself homesick for St. George and cynical toward the place I had just committed to for the next three years.

I wasted my first month bummed out about a few extra courses I would need to take that didn’t transfer and feeling out of place in my new environment. With a kick in the pants from my parents and friends, I finally let myself experience Weber, and I am so thankful I did.

My roommate introduced me to The Signpost, and I began to write for the paper. Obviously, I decided to stick around. I let The Signpost become my safe place to land, and without shame, it’s where I made friends.

A selfie taken before I covered my very first event as a reporter for The Signpost. (Photo provided by Kellie Plumhof) Photo credit: Kellie Plumhof

Being an already independent and head-strong person — or stubborn, as my parents put it — I didn’t think I would need to do much growing up when I got out on my own, but like so many times in my life, I was wrong.

No, I wasn’t struggling to do my laundry or make a decent meal, but I struggled with the confidence to make my own decisions.

My parents’ advice was a phone call away, but I pushed myself to make my own decisions, especially on the day-to-day basis, and more importantly how to be okay with those decisions.

I let myself enjoy my classes, make friends in my field and I ended my senior year with an internship with Weber-Metro CSI, where I actually got to do what I’ve been wanting to do since I first began: go out on real crime scenes and experience my future career firsthand.

I spent my last semester as an intern with Weber-Metro CSI. (Photo provided by Kellie Plumhof)

If I hadn’t given myself the chance to enjoy Weber, I probably would have squandered this opportunity. I may have gone back to Dixie and finished out a degree I didn’t really want.

Of course, everything didn’t always run smoothly. There were weeks where everything seemed to rain down on me at once, and I could never see the light at the end of the tunnel. But, I wouldn’t trade these years at Weber for anything.

My crime scene photography class of 2016. (Photo provided by Kellie Plumhof)

To those who still have time at Weber, I encourage you to get involved at Weber and take more away from your time here than a diploma.

I say thank you to Weber State, for giving me an education in something I’m truly passionate about and forcing me to grow as a person.

A fingerprint I developed using super-glue fuming and basic yellow 40. (Photo provided by Kellie Plumhof)

Thank you to The Signpost for letting me be involved all over campus and teaching me how to write in a way that didn’t make the copy desk cringe. But most importantly, thank you for showing me what I am capable of and being my home away from home while at Weber.

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