My Reality: Life as a senior

Kelly Copeland

If you read my last blog you know I was offered a summer internship position near San Francisco with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Since then I have accepted the job and in two short months I will be leaving McMinnville for a new and exciting experience!
Graduating from college is a monumental step in my life, and when it comes it will be the biggest of them all. Other than my upcoming June 1 graduation, I have had a few major transitions in my life. Maybe not a lot compared to others, but enough for me. I remember moving from Spokane to McMinnville when I was 11, I remember graduating high school and also leaving for a semester abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. But one large transition that hasn’t been such a big deal was my move to college. My dad, being employed by Linfield, gets me free tuition. That perk, along with the well-known study abroad program and the small but great Mass Communication department, attracted me to Linfield. Becoming a student at Linfield meant that was not not going to move far away from my family, and thus I did not have the real move-to-college experience.
In some ways I think I missed out on a lot by not moving away from my family for college, but for the most part I think it was beneficial. I live on campus and I don’t really go home all that often to see my family and I don’t spend any time with high school friends. So, a situation that could potentially feel like high school again does not exist. Overall I would have to say attending college in the same town your family lives in is not a bad thing, at least for me. My parents don’t check up on me and I probably see them as much as my friends who live in other cities close by, like Portland or Salem. I appreciate the fact that they are close by and I don’t take them for granted.
One thing I have learned about myself through all of the transitions I listed above is I always come out ahead. When we moved to McMinnville, I was really nervous nobody would like me. But I got into a great fifth grade class, I met a lot of nice people and we moved to a really neighborhood with lots of families. When I graduated high school, I was afraid I would be looked down upon for not leaving McMinnville. But it proved to be beneficial because I was able to keep my high school job and still earn money while going to class, while having the support of family and friends close by. When I went to Oaxaca, I was absolutely terrified I wouldn’t understand the language, be homesick or just hate it. But I loved it and now I am proficient in Spanish. I also learned I am independent.
So now that I am on the brink of graduation, I am scared just like all of those other times. But based on how they all turned out, I am sure this new transition will prove to be just as good. One of my best friends, Amber McKenna, is going to go with me. We will be living with her aunt and uncle and cousin, who are great people. We can go to the city on the weekends, go out at night, spend time with her family and just have a great summer. Sure, my job will be hard and I will need to work long hours, but that is what comes with the territory.
What I think has been the difference for me is that I go into each situation with an open mind and hopeful everything will be fine. I work hard to make sure everything works out, and so far I have not been disappointed. So, if you are reading this and are about to go through a big transition in your life, just remember you make it what you want it to be.

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