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I can’t believe my time at UNCW is coming to a close. It’s hard to believe that four years are already done—and ending in such an anti-climactic way, considering I’m writing this from the comfort of my childhood home.

Four years, eight semesters, three hurricanes, and a global pandemic later—I’m finally getting my degree!

[bf_image id="q8yv2h-eppbdc-9pnrlb"] I did a lot of cool stuff while at UNCW. I earned a minor and a certification alongside my BFA, I was an officer for three different student organizations, and I made some amazing memories with some great people. However, I wasn't always happy in school. In fact, when I was a freshman, I didn’t like college at all. I missed the comfort of my hometown and my friends from high school. I thought about transferring. I thought about moving back home.

Still, I stayed. I stayed because I started making friends in college, people that I really connected with. I found the clubs where I felt like I belonged—including none other than Her Campus! I found a major that spoke to me—UNCW’s incredible Creative Writing program—and decided to stick it out and give UNCW another shot.

I’m so glad I did. If I had transferred, I wouldn’t have done some pretty great things. I wouldn’t have seen Jesse McCartney and Aly & AJ in concert. I wouldn’t have joined my sorority and gotten a new band of sisters. I wouldn’t be a Her Campus writer, nor would I have run the UNCW improv troupe. I wouldn’t have met the amazing people from all these organizations that have become such good friends. 

On one hand, I’m happy to graduate. This day has been a long time coming. On the other hand, I’ll desperately miss the friends, classmates, and professors that have shaped my years at UNCW.

I’ll even miss the not-so-glamorous parts of our school: the food at Wagoner Hall, the never-ending construction, the long lines at Chick-Fil-A and PCJ, the scary geese…

All I know is UNCW was the right place for me, even if I didn’t think so at first. I was pulled here for a reason. This is the place that became my home in a time I felt lost.

Now, I feel a bit lost again. How else can you feel when the world you’ve known for 22 years is changing in such a rapid, disturbing way?

However, if my time at college is any indication, things will get better. I’ll find my place once again. Thank you, University of North Carolina Wilmington. I’ll always and forever be proud to be a Seahawk! #hawkyeah

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Rachel is a senior and Creative Writing major/English minor at UNCW. She loves to write about entertainment and often publishes listicles on her favorite movies, music, and TV. Rachel is probably rereading the Percy Jackson books, watching comedy specials on Netflix, or petting a dog right about now. Sometimes, she's doing all three.
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