I honestly have no idea what I’m doing with my life, but I better figure it out quickly because I’m graduating at the end of this semester.

Although I am relieved to be graduating in February so there is (hopefully) less competition in the job market, I’m actually sad about it. I’m not exactly ready to leave FDU and The Pillar just yet.

I think part of it has to do with the fact that I didn’t start at FDU right away. I’ve been to two other colleges/universities since I graduated high school in 2009.

I began my undergraduate studies at a small liberal arts college in Virginia, but I wasn’t happy. During my semester and three weeks at the college, I realized it wasn’t for me. It was too cliquey and reminded me of high school. I didn’t enjoy middle and high school, and I thought if I went to school in New Jersey that I’d be with the same people I went to school with for seven years, so I started looking into colleges out-of-state.

Little did I know, the “right” place for me was just 40 minutes away from my house this entire time.

After I left Virginia, I decided to take some time to visit my family in Brazil. I needed some time to relax, recharge and figure out what my next move was going to be. I talked to my friend Malaak about her experiences at FDU. If she liked it. If I would like it.

I knew I wasn’t going to get admitted right away. My grades from Virginia weren’t exactly stellar. If I wanted to go to FDU, I first had to bring up my grades.

When I came home from Brazil I enrolled in the local community college and developed the perfect plan: I was going to be a lawyer. Although I have now taken more journalism classes than pre-law classes, I still think about pursuing a legal career. Just not right now.

This is going to sound cliché but I really do think that people come into your life for a specific reason. During winter break before I enrolled at FDU for the Spring 2012 semester, I met Megan while I was working at a department store. She encouraged me to join the newspaper and although I said yes, I was hesitant. I knew that my strengths were in creative writing and comparative analyses, but a newspaper article? I didn’t think I had it in me, in all honesty. I showed up to my first meeting and was absolutely terrified. It sounds silly now, but I spent most of that semester thinking a lot of the people on staff that year didn’t really like me.

It was the first time I was glad to be wrong about something.

I was still nervous that first semester, trying to make friends. I spent most of my time in my room but there were a few people who would force me out of my dorm room whenever possible, and I’m grateful for that. I wrote a lot that semester, but I can’t tell you anything that I wrote because I lost that notebook somewhere on the Green Line in Boston. Hopefully if someone found my notebook they can’t read Portuguese or Russian. Perhaps is for the best that I lost that notebook. I’m not that person anymore.

I’ve been blessed with so many good things and people in my life that they outweigh the not so great stuff. I often wonder about how things might be for me had I not gone to FDU at all. How things might be different for the people I’ve known and loved here.

I’m going to miss so many things about this campus when I leave after my last final. I’m going to miss how it looks in the springtime and the walks that I used to take around campus. I’m going to miss seeing my favorite professors and taking their classes. I’m going to miss my friends. I miss some of them already. The ones who already graduated and the ones who are still here but I don’t see as often.

And I’m going to miss working on this paper. At the risk of sounding like a human- advertisement, joining the newspaper has probably been one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things that I have ever done.

It has helped me get an internship last semester and it has helped me become more involved in the school. As much as I say that I would have gotten involved on campus had it not been for the newspaper, that’s probably not true. I don’t think I would have gone to as many lectures, events or enjoyed my time at FDU as much as I have.

But at some point it’s time to graduate. I think my mom said something about no more college after this semester… I guess she forgot I’m applying to Columbia for journalism school. Oh well.

It’s never easy saying goodbye, but at least I’m trying.

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