Throughout the years of living in a small, rural town of southern West Virginia, I dreamed of being able to move to a better place that afforded me with more possibilities to experience and explore my surroundings. While in high school I never “planned” on going to college – it was more of a spur of the moment whim that I had after returning from a fun trip in Morgantown: Home of the Mountaineers. The college application was a pretty simple process and it never crossed my mind what I would do if I wasn’t accepted. When the letter of acceptance came in the mail my heart overflowed with joy because I knew it was my “ticket” out of Hinton, WV. After high school graduation, I packed up my car with my Shitzu puppy – Bella, and never looked back. Not knowing what West Virginia University had in store for me was appealing; I couldn’t wait to start my freshman year with new people, new surroundings, and most of all – a new life.
Four years later….
After all of the trials and tribulations, fun and rewarding experiences, and lessons I learned at WVU – it was time for me to pick up my life and make a move for the better. Never along the way did I imagine the things that I would achieve or the endeavors that I would accomplish or the hardships that I would overcome. However, today I CAN say that I am truly grateful for every experience I had – no matter if it was the hardest or easiest experience – I am grateful. As the old adage goes: you live and you learn. So I like to say, keep living and keep learning. After graduation in December, I packed my car – this time without my beloved Bella – and never looked back. Much like after high school graduation: I couldn’t wait to start my new career with new people, new surroundings, and most of all – a new life.
My childhood dreams and aspirations came true: I was able to move to Florida and live near a beach, start a career doing something I love with a college degree, and have many opportunities in front of me to experience and learn more throughout the years.
What I’ve ultimately learned while growing up is you have to keep moving forward. Always be thankful for the past because without it you wouldn’t be where you are now, but always move forward.