A Senior’s Word

Photo+by+Rebekah+Icenesse+

Photo by Rebekah Icenesse

Rebekah Icenesse

There’s so much I can say about my college life. I’ve had hits and misses, mistakes made and lessons learned, but ultimately, an unforgettable time in college. 

I never expected to experience and achieve everything that I have. I was just a girl from a small town that moved to another small town with a university that changed my life forever. 

Being an introvert, moving two and a half hours away from home and being on my own was an anxious thought. 

I was excited, but nervous for how college was going to be for me. I didn’t know if I would make a lot of friends or if college was going to be really hard. I walked on campus clueless as to what was going to come in the next four years. 

Freshman year was a huge learning curve because I was on my own and had to do everything myself. I had to make new friends and learn how to be around people who were very different than me. I was so shy that I didn’t meet some of my friends until a couple of months into the semester, but once I met them, they were the friends that I knew I would have forever.

 I wasn’t ever good at making a lot of friends, but the ones I did make here were the ones I got very close to. They made freshman year so much fun and the memories of that year still make me laugh today. Friendships will help get you through college. It’s important to have people you can lean on and support you if you need it. 

I’d have to say Junior year was the most eye opening for me. 

Not only was I learning how to deal with difficult people, I gained some incredible experiences that changed my life. 

I started a project that turned into a year long process where I conducted writing workshops in a women’s prison. Being inside bare walls and looking out at the world that doesn’t stop, gave me a new perspective that made me appreciate the life I have. 

My favorite experience in college, overall, is when I visited a Decatur homeless shelter and interviewed some homeless people. After I left the shelter, I sobbed all the way home. 

That experience touched my heart and I will never forget speaking to the people who left an impact on my soul. I have never felt a more rewarding experience than this one. I still think about it today and I know I always will. 

Come senior year, I feel like I have done and learned so much. I grew as a student and as a woman. 

I came into college being a nervous and quiet girl who was worried about everything. Now I feel like I am going to be graduating as a strong, independent woman who is ready for what the world is going to throw at her. I look back to that move-in day and how nervous I was and I smile when I see how my life changed and grew with each different experience I had.

I really found myself in college. I realized so many things and I grew up from the small town girl who walked into Blackburn Hall in August 2016 with no clue on how to do any of this. You kind of just have to wing it and learn as you go. It’ll take some tries and fails, but you get the hang of this college/adulting thing after a while.

Now that it’s about to be over in less than three months, I can only look back and reflect about everything that has happened. So many wonderful memories that I will cherish and so many people who made an impact on me. 

There were also a lot of mistakes made, but that’s life. You make mistakes and you learn and become stronger from them. 

I am grateful for everything that I have experienced these four years of college. They were the best four years of my life and there is not enough room on here to tell everything that contributed to the person I am now. 

To be honest, I will really miss it. I will miss Millikin and the people I have met. I only have great things to say and I will graduate proud that I took some risks and gained opportunities that I never thought I would. College was so much fun, even though it was stressful a lot of the time. But through all of that stress, there are memories and experiences that will forever be imprinted in my mind and heart.

It’s scary thinking about graduating and being out in the real adult world. But just like that first day of freshman year where I was nervous, everything turned out alright in the end. 

This new chapter of my life will bring more memories and experiences that I can’t even imagine yet. In May, I’m going to be leaving the milli-bubble for the last time. I am ready to see what life has for me outside the college walls that I will always remember and love.