Recent reflection prompts memories of former self

Hard to believe, but for many of us graduation is only 16 days away. For me, it’s even harder to believe it was this time just four years ago that most of us were gearing up to graduate high school.

Sometimes I can’t wrap my head around the fact that my high school experience actually happened in this lifetime. I have changed so much since then that I honestly don’t recognize that person anymore.

We look pretty much the same, although I like to think I have a slightly more sophisticated, older look now; but the comparison pretty much ends there.

Oh, and I learned how to don makeup in a much less scary fashion.

In high school I was the awkward girl who got average grades, took a few honors classes but didn’t really challenge herself, claimed few true friends, and pretty much kept to herself.

I wasn’t particularly looking to impress my teachers; wasn’t trying to stick out in any way.

While I still wouldn’t call myself an attention-seeker, I’m a far cry from the too-humble teenager who crossed the stage of Erie’s Warner Theatre in 2009, boasting no major accomplishments aside from the fresh diploma in my right hand.

When I think back on my college career – now that it’s almost over, I feel like I can say that – I’m surprised by how many things I would call major accomplishments.

In four short years, I became the person I always secretly wanted to be in high school, but I never even fully admitted it to myself.

I have so many people to thank for the person I have become.

In an effort to write this column without weeping like a child, though, I’m not going to name everyone. You know who you are – at least I really hope you do.

I can say quite honestly that I really like who I am today, much more than I liked the person who let the best friendship of her life fall apart just weeks after graduation.

Not my proudest moment.

But thankfully, I’ve had several proud moments in the past four years, and I really hope the rest of the seniors graduating in the next couple of weeks have, too.

Gannon is a great place. I don’t think I would have turned out quite the same person had I gone to any other university. And I’d like to think that being in this place at this time has played a huge role in forming the adult me.

I still have a lot of growing up to do, but I feel prepared for it.

Just like my high school did a wonderful job of preparing me for college, I think Gannon has done a wonderful job in preparing me for, well, life.

I’m not really scared of moving forward, like I may have been four years ago. I’m apprehensive – but who isn’t?

Mostly I’m glad that I’ve been granted the chance to spend two more years at Gannon, learning all I can and figuring out who I’m going to be from now on.

I can’t help but wonder if I’ll be looking at this column in May 2015, as I get ready to graduate with a Master’s degree, commenting on how much I’ve already changed.

 

KELLY MORELAND

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