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Bon Voyage!

I’ve spent so much time lately trying to figure out what I’m going to do when I graduate that I haven’t stopped long enough to realize that I actually am graduating, and that soon I’ll be leaving everything and everyone I’ve come to know and love throughout the past four years. All of this did, however, hit me earlier this week at the McNair dinner honoring graduating seniors. Even though the other McNair’s aren’t the people I spend the most time with, they are the group of people at USC who I’ve known the longest. At the dinner we were all exchanging post-college plans, and it was a little sad to realize that soon we’d all be headed off to completely different parts of the world (literally). After the dinner I had to write a short essay for the True Scholar publication, reflecting on my time at USC. Because life is so often compared to a journey and because I enjoy traveling and adventure so much, I decided to base my “essay” around that theme. It’s a little cheesy, but I want to share it with you here:

“When I finally pack up all my things and leave for the last time the old duplex in Five Points that has been my home for most of my college years, I know that I will be taking with me far more than I first brought here to Carolina four years ago. Mixed in with all the bags and boxes of dishes and clothes will be a wealth of knowledge, fond memories, fun adventures, and life lessons learned.

Slung over one shoulder will be a camera bag full of photography skills and lessons from my VisCom professors and classmates that helped me explore and develop my passion for photography and design. On the other shoulder I will carry a messenger bag full of good books and pages of important notes, reminding me of the things I learned in college, both in the classroom and out.

On my back will be a backpacker’s pack, stuffed with the adventures and misadventures of an American in Europe, learning how to adjust to life in a foreign country. The pack will be full of memories of studying in Italy, where I was finally able to use the Italian that I studied throughout college as an Italian minor. The pack will also be overflowing with the things I learned through the several trips to Slovakia I went on where I spent time helping with youth ministry, teaching English, and falling in love with the people and understated beauty of Central and Eastern Europe.

Close to my heart I will carry a box filled with my most treasured memories, those of the time spent with the amazing friends I made through classes, clubs, and the college ministry at my church here in Columbia. I will always remember the late-night conversations over a cup of coffee, the Saturdays spent cheering on the Gamecocks down at Williams-Brice, and the sunny spring days relaxing on the Horseshoe.

They say that life is a journey. If this is true, then I am confident that my four years here at Carolina have given me everything I will need for good travels throughout the rest of my life.”

Three Things.

The last month has been super-busy and I haven’t had a chance to post yet. It doesn’t look like things will be slowing down any until after graduation (May 11!!), but I wanted to take a minute to tell you about the three big things that have been going on:

1) I finally got a part-time job. I always said I never wanted to work in the food industry, but now I am. One of my old roommates, Melissa, has been working at LongHorn since last fall and when she heard I was looking for a job, she let me know that they were currently hiring. I’m working as a hostess; I’m done with training, but I’ve only worked a couple of times since I finished training because last week was spring break and I went on a short trip to…

2) Europe! Last week (March 9-18) was spring break and Chasity and I went to Europe with our friend Ken for the week. We visited Germany, Poland, and Slovakia, but most of our time was spent in Slovakia. We spent Saturday in Frankfurt, Germany and then flew to Bratislava, Slovakia (the capital city). Ken left for Zilina the next day, but Chasity and I stayed in Bratislava until Tuesday afternoon. Then we caught a train to Zilina to meet up with Ken and to visit our friends there. One day we drove to the Tatra Mountains and then took a cable car up on to the mountain. The weather was perfect; even though there was snow on the ground it was sunny and fairly warm outside (low 60’s). Thursday our friend Vili drove Ken, Chasity, and I to Krakow, Poland to spend the evening and then catch a flight back to Frankfurt for one more day before flying back to the States. It was a quick trip, but we had a fantastic time! To see pictures from the trip, click here.

3) Finally, I’m still exploring my options for life after graduation and trying to figure out what to do. However, while I was in Slovakia I found out that I was accepted in to the M.A. in Publishing & Writing program at Emerson College in Boston! I’m not sure yet if I’m going to go or not, but now at least I know I can if I want to!