In front of the Hall of Languages during my campus visit in May 2011.

In front of the Hall of Languages during my campus visit in May 2011.

It's the end of an era.

For the past 17 years of my life, I've known nothing else other than being a "student," but today marks the last day of classes for me, ever.

Early on in my scholastic career, I knew I had a strong desire to study communications. During my campus visit to Syracuse University in May of 2011, I sat behind the anchor desk in the studios and felt that in my heart, a career on-air is what I am meant to do. As an avid sports and entertainment fan, I want to work for a major network associated with either one, or ideally, both. In order to achieve this, I knew the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications at SU was where I needed to be. 

I felt Syracuse offer me a challenging academic environment, in addition to a great support system to guide me through. I knew it was imperative I take advantage of the unique opportunities that Syracuse presented me, tapping into a strong alumni base, networking with experienced professionals that have helped shape an industry.

Upon acceptance, it marked the beginning of the journey I continue today, chasing my dreams.

Looking back, I could not be more grateful that my path has led me to one of the top communications schools in the nation. Being a part of the 'Newhouse Mafia,' as we call it, has been every bit of a dream to me. Although I would love to reminisce on all the incredible opportunities and experiences I have had while here, I'll save them for another post.

Though my future is unknown, I know in my heart that I have been prepared by the best. I have soaked up the vast experiences on-campus and beyond, building a strong work ethic and passion for whatever I work on. The rigorous course work has forced me to become a critical thinker not only in my major, but in the world at large, building characteristics of a well-rounded individual as a scholar and professional.

I hope I have left a positive footprint for the underclassmen and future students and hope my focus has great impact for years to come. Not only that, but I hope I helped pave a way for students who want to pursue a career in entertainment news, which is often overshadowed by hard news and sports.

My experiences at school leave me with hope that I am capable of great things and will always give credit to the institution I was a part of for four years, transforming me into a success not only professionally, but as a person.

As a journalist, I have immersed myself into Syracuse beyond just the campus community. I've interviewed athletes, magazine editors, and the leaders of many campus organizations and I've also interviewed county officials, police officers, and the average Joe's on the street. One of the most enriching aspects of journalism is being able to have a platform where you can not only hear stories, but in turn, tell them. Whether in an interview setting or just in passing, everyone I have met here in Syracuse has been instrumental in developing my skills as I get ready to head out into the 'real' world of news.

Syracuse has been every bit of my home for the past four years. Syracuse is where I learned the ins and outs of the industry I hope to make a name for myself in, in years to come. It's where I've met some of the most remarkable, talented individuals who have inspired and influenced me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. It's where I learned the value of friendships and relationships as I've loved and lost. It's where I learned what it means to take chances and risks, trusting that others will catch me if I fall. It's where I transformed from a young girl with a dream to a woman on a mission.

In 11 short days, I will become a college graduate, something that is absolutely mind-boggling. The past few days have been overwhelming and at times, emotional, as I've walked around campus reminiscing on the memories I've made and the magnitude of what it means to graduate from Syracuse.

It sounds cliche, but it's true what they say -- these four years go by fast. But, I will forever Bleed Orange.