I graduate from college next week and I thought my life would be REALLY, REALLY, REALLY different when I’d be saying those words.

When I started at East Carolina University at 16 years old, I was a biology major who wanted to be a pediatric neurologist. I’d imagine myself right now preparing to move to some other city to start med school and enter the next phase of my life.

But no. I switched my major to English because I HATED being a biology major. I had panic attacks everyday, I couldn’t sleep and I had no friends.

I currently do not have a job lined up but I don’t hate myself or my life. As I reflect upon my time at East Carolina University, I am grateful for growth, self-exploration and most importantly getting the hot scoop.

I’m not the person I was when I applied to ECU and I could not be more grateful for that.

You’re here for four years, more or less, and in that time you’re not a failure for changing your mind. Plans change. You change.

During my first semester of being an English major, my classmate Julie told me that I could try out to write for The East Carolinian. I ended up starting at The East Carolinian in fall 2018 and have been getting the hot scoop since. Just kidding. I write about culverts and construction, but I’m your girl if you ever have any construction related questions.

At five years old, my dream was to be a part time Walmart cashier and Sonic waitress and then be Hannah Montana at night. My plans have since changed and then changed again and again and they’ll probably change again if I’m being honest.

Change is part of life though. We overcome, we persevere and we roll with the punches. There’s always time to break out my roller skates and follow my childhood dream of being a Sonic waitress or go back to school and try to be a doctor.

Right now, I love being a reporter, but I’m not required to do that for the rest of my life. You don’t have to be anyone other than who you want to be at literally any point in your life. You will waste so much time of your short life trying to be someone your not.

Surround yourself with cool people. Travel often, whether it be to China or a homemade roller coaster park where you get injuries you don’t recover from for weeks. Become passionate about something and study sometimes. Give your life meaning and don’t waste it on people that don’t like you for who you are.

As the planner that I never use with daily quotes says, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years,” the 16th President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, said.

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