Let the Countdown Begin

You guys.

It’s happening.

50 days until graduation.

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Personally, I never wanted to be one of those people who posted every “last” thing about my senior year of college on social media. So far, I’ve been fairly successful. But this past week has been unreal.

With the Scripps Dinner on Tuesday (a formal dinner for Reynolds School of Journalism alumni, faculty, and graduating seniors), the grad fair, an email about an upcoming graduate luncheon, and the shipment of my graduation announcements, I was an emotional wreck. In addition, today marks just 50 DAYS until I graduate, earlier this week Graduation by Vitamin C came on my shuffle (commence tears, commence redoing makeup before class), and this weekend, I will take my senior pictures. WHAT IS LIFE?

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So here I am, giving into the unavoidable graduation count down. 50 days. 50 days left of classes and homework and studying and exams and papers and projects and all-nighters and the library and presentations. 50 days left of theme parties and shotgunning beer and tailgates and football and fraternities and formals and party buses and The Wal and Wine Walks and Wine Wednesdays and bringing wine to class and six-day weekends. 50 days left of “What am I doing with my life?!” and confusion and nervous breakdowns and hating life and being too old for this and needing to grow up already and needing a nap and wanting to move on to the next chapter of my life. 50 days left of being right here, right now and seeing familiar faces around me on campus and in the community at all times and being able to call up any of my friends at any time to do anything and having random adventures and not having responsibilities and friendship and laughter and the good, the bad, and the ugly and making memories that will last a lifetime and magic and perfection and collegiate bliss.

50. Days.

I have no regrets that I’ve started the countdown. I don’t know if I could avoid the countdown if I even tried. You kind of have to have a countdown, both for the good and the bad. You have to be aware in one sense that you only have to get through 50 more days of stress and classes (my last days in school ever! …unless I go to grad school one day, but that’s another post). At the same time, you have to be aware that you are only allowed 50 more days of what you will one day look back on as your “college days.” And that’s the reality.

50 days, and there’s nothing you can do about it. So make the very, very most of it.

Are you also winding down to graduation? Do you feel like you had enough time in college? Let’s talk about it on Twitter!

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Check In: My Last First Day of School

This past Tuesday was one of the most confusing days of my life. Why? Because it was my last first day of school. Like…ever. That’s right, I have now officially begun the last semester of my collegiate career, and I am, to put it lightly, completely freaking out.

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How was I supposed to feel? Happy? Sad? Nervous? Confused? Excited? Stressed? Relieved? A combination of all the above? Because those are all the emotions I experienced at some point on Tuesday.

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Believe me, beginning the last lap of college is a very bizarre feeling. At this point in my life, I have more on my plate than ever before. I’m taking all 400-level courses that actually challenge me — in a good way, I can see the finish line (and therefore the beginning of the rest of my life), and yet, I want to try to enjoy my last few months of being a 22-year-old, freeloading college student. Somebody, please send help.

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As I walked around campus Tuesday, saying hi to new and old friends, and reading the syllabi of the last college courses I’ll ever take, I noticed a few things.

First, I am more sure of myself and what I’m doing than ever before. That includes last semester. It seemed that some miracle occurred on Tuesday where the stars lined up and for the first time ever, nothing phased me on my first day of classes. I knew exactly how to handle everything that was thrown my way, and I felt confident about myself.

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Second, I noticed that I began thinking about my experiences during my very first week of college in August 2010. The first day of classes that semester coincided with my 18th birthday, so that day brought strange feelings of growing up in several ways at once. This past Tuesday, I remembered exactly how I felt the first time I saw my college campus — the dorms, the student union, the quad, and so on — and I wondered if any students passing by me were experiencing the same emotions. I tried to start thinking of my current experiences on campus as being my last. That way, when I look back on my time in college — whether it be in one year or fifty — I will have snapshots in my mind of more than parties and late-night study sessions; I will have memories of the seemingly mundane experiences, like walking around on campus and grabbing lunch in the student union.

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Finally, I realized that there will never be another time quite as perfect as this. I feel great about my major, I have plenty of friends and connections on campus and in the community, I know exactly what I want to do with my life and how to get there, and yet, I still get four months to live a quintessential college lifestyle. I’m not yet a part of the real world, so my responsibilities seem relatively miniscule, but I have no doubt that I will succeed in the not-so-distant future.

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Everything is perfect at this point in time, so I want to ensure I make the most of it. My goal for this semester is to not make excuses for anything, but instead, to try everything. You’re only in college once, so now is my time to experience what I haven’t before. Everyone says that your last semester goes by the quickest; let’s hope that I can have a little fun along the way. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I’ve already booked my flights for spring break!

How were your first few days of the spring semester? Tell on Twitter and I might retweet you!
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Finals, Freshman Year vs. Senior Year

A lot can change in four years.

When you realize it’s time to start studying for finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Getting ready to go study

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Trying to study in the library

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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LOL NOPE #StudyingAtHome

Fall semester finals

Freshman year:

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via Twitter

Senior year:

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Spring semester finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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This will do.

Not drinking because you have to study

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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While studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Calculating what grade you need on the final in order to pass the class

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Deciding whether or not you should stop studying and just go for the passing grade

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Study in groups

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Your relationship with coffee

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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When you realize how long you’ve been studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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After five minutes…

Trying to balance sleep and studying

Freshman year:

SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK

SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK

Senior year:

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When your mom calls you while you’re studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Trying to find time to relax during finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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After hours of studying

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Checking in with your professor before the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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How you think you’ll do on the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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During the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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After you finish the test

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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Checking your final grade

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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How you feel when you’re finally done with all of your finals

Freshman year:

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Senior year:

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When you’re a freshman, all you can see are four more years of finals ahead. By the time you’re a senior, however, you already have yours eyes on that sweet, sweet prize — your degree. May 16th, here I come!

Disagree? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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A Look Back at This Semester

It seems like just yesterday that I returned home from Washington, D.C., moved into my first apartment, and embarked upon my last Fall semester as an undergraduate. Sometimes, we all get so caught up in school, work, clubs, our social lives, our families, our relationships, and our daily to-do lists that, before we know it, an entire 16-week semester has passed us by.

If you read this post, you know that I love taking time to reflect. So, in the spirit of personal reflection, let’s recap this semester, shall we?

There were new beginnings…

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My bedroom in my new downtown apartment

And chapters closed…

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I turned 22…

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Oh, Zephyr Cove

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And caught up on much needed beauty sleep…

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There were surprises…

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Celebrations…

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And remembrances…

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In memory of the lives lost during the 9-11-2001 attacks

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There were big moments…

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Serving as the Chapter President for the College Republicans

With Reno's Mayor at the time, Bob Cashell

With Reno’s former mayor, Bob Cashell

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At the Nevada Governor’s Mansion before walking in the Nevada Day Parade

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With Nevada’s 2nd District Representative, Congressman Mark Amodei

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Presenting my “idea worth spreading” to the University of Nevada

Little moments…

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And sassy moments…

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There were group projects…

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Early morning classes…

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Long days at work…

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Long days in the library…

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And lots and lots of Starbucks…

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via Twitter

I spent far too much time with this guy…

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And not enough time with these guys…

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There were quiet indulgences…

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Christening my new apartment with a margarita

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And rambunctious ones…

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There were Sunday mornings in church…

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And Sundays watching football…

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There were campus events…

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Football games…

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Weddings…

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Festivals…

Reno's annual Italian Festival

Reno’s annual Italian Festival

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And birthdays…

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I added to my stuffed giraffe collection…

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And had a few good laughs…

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There were new places…

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Familiar faces…

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New friendships were formed…

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And apparently I took a selfie to commemorate it all!

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Looking back, I’m reminded of all the wonderful memories I made this semester. When all is said and done, I think this semester was a successful one, and maybe even one of my favorites. Clearly, I had a lot of happy moments, and I learned from my moments of doubt. I reminisced on the time I spent in D.C., and I made a little home in my new apartment. I must say, however, that my favorite part of this semester was being surrounded by such incredible people.

Now, I have one final semester of college to look forward to! Ahhhh, that feels so weird to say!

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What was your favorite part of this semester? Show or tell me on Twitter and I might retweet you!

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