Thank you CCU

When I had decided to transfer to Coastal Carolina University, the world had shut down. I was on spring break from my previous college when the governor of Rhode Island announced the lock-down that would alter everyone’s perceptions of time to be divided into before and after.

In between the empty parking lots and the walls of my bedroom, I was faced with redefining the college experience for myself. Growing up, I always had this romanticized notion of what college was going to be: studying abroad, partying, falling in love with everything and everyone around me. That was before.

During this time, my aunt told me the stories of her “best years” on CCU’s campus. She talked of warm weather, the beach, and the relationships she built. That was enough for me to put in my application.

Today, I am graduating from CCU with a Bachelor’s in English and Communications. I haven’t gotten the chance to go abroad or live in a big city yet, but I have found my people here. I found faculty and friends that believed in me and my goals. I even joined a few clubs that gave me once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

What started as attending a local open mic night turned into reading one of my works across the country to a room full of travelers.

What started as writing on and off for The Chanticleer for about two years, turned into an idea for multimedia reporting and a brand-new position on the executive staff team. Being a part of that growth of the newspaper and being able to travel and network with a brilliant team is an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.

When I was touring college campuses four years ago, the tour guides would wave to their friends on campus as they passed. It was such a simple gesture, but it stuck out to me because I wanted to be like them and have that sense of belonging. When everything shut down my freshman year, I didn’t think I would ever get the chance.

Now, in the after, I have found that I have fallen in love with everything and everyone around me. I think of my brother coming to CCU in the fall, and I want to offer the advice to him and the underclassmen one cliché piece of advice: make the most of it.

I want to leave by saying thank you to CCU and to The Chanticleer for helping me make the most of my college experience.