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"Don't Cry Because it's Over; Smile Because it Happened." -Dr. Seuss

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I kept this Dr. Seuss quote close when leaving Harlaxton, my study abroad home in England, and I called upon it again these past weeks as I experienced many “lasts” before graduation, as I walked across the stage to receive my diploma case and moved my tassel from right to left, and as I said goodbye to many college friends.

Day Trip to New Harmony

New Harmony 4

This past weekend, some of my friends and I enjoyed a wonderful day trip to New Harmony, a small town about 45 minutes from UE's campus. Originally the site of Robert Owen's Utopian Community, New Harmonie, the town is now a local tourist destination. There are still many remnants of that age and it is a fun place to explore!

I Don't Wanna Go

I'm not sure what it says about me that I'm going to go ahead and use a Doctor Who quote for my final blog post title, but it seemed fitting, because it's true. I have had a wonderful four years here at UE, and I'm not quite sure that I'm ready to go. 

But in spite of that, there are only 11 days until graduation. Yesterday was the last day of classes, and whether I like it or not, I've got a very limited amount of time left in which I get to call myself an undergraduate.

I could list a thousand reasons why I'd love to stay here at UE and just pretend I'm still allowed to take classes and see how long it took anyone to notice. But instead of doing that (because, after all, it'd be giving away my master plan), I think I'll just say a fond farewell to the university that has been my home for the past four years. 

I'm not sure I've fully quite accepted it yet that I'll be leaving, but I'm definitely taking a lot of new experiences and knowledge with me when I go. Before I came here, I'd scarcely left my small town in Ohio. The furthest away I'd been was Florida, and that was only for a few days. Now, I can say I've gone abroad for four months. I've lived in another country. I've gotten on a plane, gone to a conference in Seattle, and "networked" with a ton of other writers.

I've drafted lesson plans, taught creative writing, been a writing center mentor, and had so many little experiences that I hope I will remember always, from the first moment when I stepped out of my mom's car to look at that tree I posted about, to the unfortunate moment that I still refuse to accept where I have to get in my car and drive away, becoming that strange thing they call an alum.  

So, before I tear up, I'm just going to say it--goodbye UE! I will miss you but I think and know that almost everything I've done here has prepared me for whatever's waiting out there in the real world. So I pass the baton to the next set of bloggers and can't wait to read all about your experiences here (if I can bear the jealousy).  

These Things I Have Learned


I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of my senior year! I know it’s all cliché and stuff, but the time really has gone so fast. Endings always make me nostalgic, so I set to thinking about what it is that I’ve actually learned these past four years. There have been so many amazing experiences, fantastic teachers and, yes, a mishap or two along the way, and to distill it down into a neat list is almost impossible. Yet there are a few things I think are most important that I’d like to share.

My Hectic April (So Far)


This past week has been absolutely crazy. Besides class, homework and work (on campus and Old Navy, thank you very much), I’ve had readings to attend, conferences at which to present, presentations to give, emails to graduate schools to send—it’s been a very “collegy” week for sure.

3 Things I wish I would've done to prepare for college


1. Buy a smaller laptop

Birthday Month! (The Glory of Free Things)

So, we all know a lot of college students are pressed for cash. We also know that all college students presumably are in possession of a birthday. Mine just so happens to fall in March--on March 17th, to be exact. That's right, St. Patrick's Day. If only I looked better in green.

Regardless, I like to celebrate my birthday as "birthday month." And one of the best things about birthday month is all the free stuff you can get if, like me, you sign up for just about every single rewards program under the sun (as long as it's free).

Anyway, here's my haul:

Free cupcake from local cupcakery back home, courtesy my rewards card
Free pancakes from IHOP, courtesy the IHOP rewards program
$2 on my Ounce Back card (which, sadly, I have lost) from Orange Leaf
Free sample makeup kit from Sephora
Free sample makeup kit from Ulta
Free "birthday pastry" from Panera
Free dessert (with purcahse of entree) from Chili's
A series of "happy birthday, here's 20% off" emails from everywhere, ever

Yeah, it's good to have birthday month, especially when all of your college friends are just about as broke as you are. I highly recommend taking advantage of rewards programs like these while in school, because free pastries and cupcakes make it a lot easier to do things like come back to school on your birthday, for instance, or take exams.

Writers Hanging Out: My Trip to AWP

ER Staff Selfie

Since sophomore year, when I first learned that the AWP (association of writers and writing programs) conference was a thing that existed, I have wanted to go. "You mean every year a bunch of writers go to one place and, like, hang out? Sign me up!"

What IS "The College Experience" Anyway?


     You know, after almost four years of college, you’d think that I’d know what The College Experience is…but I really don’t. If you believe pop culture myths, it involves a lot of parties and drinking, an improbably-interesting love life, a bedtime around 3 AM, and maybe, occasionally, attending a class or two.

Confession: I didn't want to go to UE


I may be considered a better PR representative if I told you that the first time I stepped on campus I knew UE was the place for me.  That as I looked around I knew I'd spend the next few years here, and that day the grass seemed greener, the sky bluer, and the squirrels fatter.  

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