The official end of a chapter: graduating from KSU!

Miscellaneous

I did it!!!

I am such a proud little graduate, and I have every right to be! I worked my butt off taking six classes and working two jobs this summer, let alone working hard the past four years. It was all worth it though when I got to walk across that stage Saturday. It was all worth it when I saw my family in the crowd cheering and waving at me, and it was all worth it getting the honor to walk next to four other very talented PR grads. The whole day was just fabulous. I kept telling myself to cherish it and to remember it. Later that night my old roommate (I guess I can say, college roommate now, huh?) and some friends met me and the boyfriend out at the bar. We had such a great time reminiscing about the past four years and just being goofy like the old days.

Proud parents, and even more proud graduate.

Proud parents, and even more proud graduate.

So what’s next? Where am I going now in life? This has been what I have been working so hard for – a degree and the chance to say I’m a proud Kent State graduate. Truly I have started a new chapter in my life. So now what?

I’ve been interning in the PR/Marketing department at Robinson Memorial Hospital since May. One of my supervisors is going on maternity leave in January, so I’ve been asked to stay until March to help with the work load. I am very excited about this opportunity because I believe healthcare PR is the direction I want to take my career. And oh ya, did I mention I start getting paid now?! My roommates and I used to joke that I only did PR as a hobby because I’ve had four unpaid internships. I often screamed in frustration “Is someone ever going to pay me for doing PR!?” And yes, finally yes.

So I’m only working at the hospital three days a week (more come January) and I’m feeling the need to somehow fill my time doing something of value until then. But what? I’ve been running a lot, and when the weather gets colder I plan on getting a pass to the YMCA and joining some classes, possibly even a volleyball team. I signed up for a 1 credit yoga class for 16 weeks up at a local community college. I also left word with the coach of the 7th grade volleyball team at the local catholic grade school in town, St. Marys, which I attended for six years. I would looove to help out coaching a volleyball team. I also researched some local charities too and sent a few emails out asking for more information about volunteering opportunities. I know I’m still gaining great experience at the hospital and I’m going to gain a lot more leadership experience staying there for a few more months, but I also want to feel of value in other aspects of my life too.

Any ideas?

So that’s basically a quick run down of life. Right now. This very second. (Besides the fact that I’m about to leave to meet my best friends from high school at the bar for a 23rd birthday celebration! I’m so excited to see them! But seriously when did we start turning 23?!)

I think you just have to have a plan in life, not an exact route. I reached my goals for the college chapter of life. I can’t wait to see the goals I set for myself this chapter, and I can’t want to accomplish them later on down the road.

Keep running!

The top of my cap for graduation.

The top of my cap for graduation.

The 22-year-old me.

Miscellaneous

I seriously feel like it was yesterday. It was the day before I went to college. It was late August 2008. My high school boyfriend, a small group of friends and myself had all gone out fishing on a little boat at some state park. It was probably some hillbilly hide-a-way and to this day I cannot remember the name of the park, but I remember it was beautiful. A giant lake surrounded by lush forest, people laughing, gravel parking lots filled with people loading and unloading boats and fishing poles.

It was hot out that day. The sun was shinning. I had on sunglasses, a baseball hat and cut offs. It was the perfect ending to a perfect summer. It was the perfect end to a day that would never happen again. I was going to college the next day and soon everything was going to change. I remember I was  wearing sunglasses that day because I had teared up numerous times and was thankful I had worn them to hide behind. I was so scared. I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend at the time. I didn’t want to leave my friends. I didn’t want to leave my family. A few times I had convinced myself that I just wouldn’t go. Tomorrow wouldn’t come and I could stay on that boat forever…

But the next day came.

My parents and I packed up the car and I picked out my outfit, nervous as could be. What would my dorm look like? What would my roommate be like? Did I even remember what the campus looked like? I had this brand new laptop I didn’t know how to work. I had a Kent State shirt but I didn’t know anything about Kent State. I had these new, huge college textbooks, but didn’t know what my classes were about. I seriously had done nothing to prepare. I had no idea what I was doing in college and I wasn’t even there yet.

But suddenly I was there. Suddenly I had arrived at my dorm. I remember my first moments of college almost like a dream, like a blurry movie with moving objects. I don’t remember what I said to anyone about anything, I just remember being in the moment.  I walked into my dorm, signed in and the next thing I knew my new college roommate was hugging me and introducing me to everyone on my floor. Everyone was hugging, laughing and screaming. Everyone was so excited about a new life here in Kent.

 The next few days went by in a haze. I was meeting tons of new people, going to frat parties for the first time, sitting in a lecture hall for the first time, eating at all the cool on-campus spots for the first time (well, they seemed cool at the time at least.)

Those first few months were some of the best of my life. Everything was so new and exciting and I didn’t know what to expect, but that’s what was so awesome. I was soaking up everything about Kent State and I loved it. I fell in love with my classes, I fell in love with the weekend and college parties and college boys and college friends and college food.

I was so curious about life, about the new experiences that Kent brought. I suddenly just accepted the change my life had encountered and I ran with it, not looking back…just running like hell with it.

And as I sit here with a smile on my face thinking about the young, innocent, 18-year-old Cassandra that showed up to Clark Hall room 333, I think why can’t I be like that again? Why can’t I be the young, curious 22-year-old Cassandra that is excited to start life after college? What is the difference between four years ago and now? Why can’t I have that same enthusiasm, curiosity and excitement for life that I had back in August 2008? What is holding that back?

Although I am not excited to move out of Kent, the small college town that has become my home, I need to try and get excited about the new chapter ahead of me. I might not be excited about walking across that stage on August 11, but I need to get inspired by what I can accomplish. I might not be looking forward to leaving my friends and my college life behind, but it will happen, just like starting college happened even when I didn’t want it to.

The 18 year-old Cassandra wasn’t ready to go to college just like the 22-year-old Cassandra isn’t ready to leave college. But life moves forward and it has the tendency to take you with it, even if you aren’t ready…

The funny thing is, sometimes you really are ready, you just don’t know it yet.