Saying goodbye and getting ready for what’s next

Victoria Stone

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Victoria and one of her best friends and roommate, Casi, from her years at WT.

Victoria and one of her best friends and roommate, Casi, from her years at WT.

When I first sat down to write a piece of my comprehensive time here at West Texas A&M University, I came to the conclusion that no matter what I write it will never be enough. It will never be enough to say thank you, to explain the impact that WT has had on my life, to tell you all that I have learned and the memories that have come from this place. The time has flown by, and I wish I had so much more of it.

 

My first night in the dorm I remember staring at the ceiling thinking, “what have I done? How did I end up here?” I was in college, and not only college but also a college that is six hours away from home, and a place people thought I was crazy for going to. I found myself staring at the ceiling throughout my college experience reflecting on my decisions. These moments were constant reminders that I was in the best place for me.

 

WT and the Mass Communication department in particular, have been there to push me, to stretch me, to allow me to grow and nurture that growth from the infant stages. I was pushed to involve myself in many areas in order to figure out what I wanted to do, and where I fit in. I was stretched within myself to develop a confidence in what I could do and to push my abilities even further.

 

My college career was the first time in my life where I had to solely rely on my confidence, my abilities and myself. Being from a big family and being the youngest, I was used to flying below the radar and just being content with where I was. College has pulled me from that bubble and I have many people to thank for that, but one in particular has been extremely influential.

 

Butler Cain, a quirky journalism professor, is one of the reasons I am where I am. The first day of class with him my freshman year I turned in my first assignment for his writing for the media class. He walked up to me and took a red pen and marked a big X on my last paragraph. In that moment I didn’t think I would be able to make it in college. He noticed the terrified look on my face, laughed and said, “Tori, there is no need for fluffy conclusions in news writing we just want straight to the point.”

 

The terrified look on my face left as I realized all he wanted to do was teach me. As Butler continued to laugh and walk away he said, “Welcome to College.” From there on out Butler became the voice of reason in my freak-outs, one of my biggest supporters and the person who constantly pushed me to be better than I thought I could be.

 

Moments and people such as Butler and my experience in his class are the reason behind my success, my confidence and part of what shaped me into who I am. I am stronger and ready for what the real world has for me because of all the training, and experiences I have had at WT.

 

Applying to jobs, and going into the real world is my new reality. This reality is terrifying but at the same time exciting. I will have a career, a career in something that I have trained for many years to be able to do. With the help and advice from my family, friends and professors I am conquering the fear of growing up and the fear of the unknown. I don’t have a job at the current moment but they all keep saying, “keep applying, keep your head up, and something will come your way. You can do this.” This encouragment has helped me to apply to many positions and I am hopeful that I will get one soon.

 

To the students that are wishing away college, or to the beginning freshman I want to leave you with the overlooked idea of enjoying where you are and soaking it all in. If I could do my college experience over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. Allow yourself to be thrown out of your comfort zone, to be pushed, stretched and to grow. You never know what can come out of the situations that you are placed in. It might be uncomfortable at times, but the benefits you will receive for it are immensely worth it.

 

If only I had more time to spend with the wonderful people that have become family at WT. To spend it having countless hours of laughing at all the ridiculous stuff you did together, the study groups, group projects and the memories that will last the time and distance no matter where I end up. I owe a lot to the friends and professors along the way, but as I have said before no matter what a simple thank you will not suffice. Now has come the time to move on and move into my life outside of college, but unfortunately that starts with goodbye.

 

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