I thought when it came time to say goodbye, it would come easy. I thought I would have a lot to say. Instead, I truly feel like the emotions I am experiencing are next to impossible to accurately describe. Before the reality of graduating college hit me, I had never felt two conflicting emotional responses so completely. I have never felt the loss of internal control quite like I do now.
In less than a week, I will be graduating from Kutztown University. I feel like I just got here. But I also feel like I’ve been here forever. I feel like this is my home, but I also feel ready to find a new home. I feel every angle of my anxiety. But most of all, I feel an overwhelming sense of appreciation.
Kutztown University provided me with the higher education experience I craved. It provided dedicated professors that take the significance of their jobs seriously and personally. It provided programs like Women’s and Gender Studies that opened my mind to a broader understanding of the world and its culture, an understanding I lacked and needed. It provided outlets like Her Campus that allowed me to share my voice, a voice I was always afraid to raise.
It provided breathtaking sunsets and seemingly endless surrounding back roads. It provided important conversations and diversified discussions. It provided new friendships and refreshed old ones. It provided comfort.
It provided pieces of myself that I would have never discovered on my own.
Kutztown University, and the small town that slopes down along Main Street, will forever be one of my favorite little slices of Pennsylvania. I may not be sure of how to properly articulate this feeling, or exactly what comes next for me, but I am absolutely sure that I will carry Kutztown in a corner of my heart for the rest of my life.