By Logan Wallerstedt/El Inde
During the fall of 2017, I was adamant about transferring back home to Tempe, Arizona, and attending Arizona State University. Something in Tucson was holding me back and I could never quite understand it — until now.
I made the impulsive decision with our journalism advisor, Paloma Boykin, to graduate a year early. I created a five-semester schedule that I would follow until my final semester at the university.
At this moment it feels like all of it was one huge mistake.
I remember I walked out of the Marshall Building happier than I had been my entire freshman semester. As I passed Old Main, chatting on the phone with my dad to tell him the good news, I realized how incredibly fortunate I was to be at this university. A weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I remember thinking how grateful I was for my parents to be financially supporting me during college and allowing me to attend the University of Arizona (my family members are die-hard supporters of ASU). For once since I had left home and school had begun, I felt everything falling into place — like I was meant to be here.
I was eager to graduate a year early mainly because I wanted the quickest way out of Tucson. I wanted to get started in my professional career. Except, I never once took into consideration all the memories I was bound to make throughout my time in Tucson that would make it that much harder to say goodbye.
I fell in love with the University of Arizona, Kappa Kappa Gamma, my friends, my job, journalism and Tucson. Reminiscing on all the experiences and memories over the past two-and-a-half years stirs up many emotions. Never did I expect that 21 year-old me would be heartbroken, being forced to leave this place.
Do I regret graduating early? I am missing out on what is supposed to be the most memorable final months before being chucked into the real world. I feel undoubtedly hopeless.
When you decide to graduate early you do not take into consideration everything that could happen — especially not a pandemic that cancels classes for the rest of your final semester. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would be my reality.
In little to no time I’ll be starting a new chapter: my new career, in a different state, with little to no time to come back and visit my loved ones.
I have a difficult time understanding why things happen the way they do. Grasping on to the idea that 16 years of school is ending this way is unimaginable. College graduation is a day students cherish and work towards their entire life. The accomplishment is meaningful no matter who you are or where you come from.
So I am taking this time to reflect upon my successes and failures which have lead me to who I am today. I truly believe everything happens for a reason.