This May I will take my final steps on campus as I graduate from this stage of my life. Over these years I have grown through both difficult and incredibly gratifying experiences here at UW-Whitewater which provided a great environment to both learn from mistakes and prosper in the right situation.
Originally, I wanted to go to a larger school perhaps outside of my home state of Wisconsin to expand my experiences. It did not take long on campus to realize that I much more appreciated the deeper relationships I could build on a smaller campus that can last and impact my life long after I leave.
The most important advice I can supply to those who are not yet at this stage is that making the work fun, makes it easy. What I mean by that is when you take your interest further than the classroom and into any sort of extracurricular, it can escalate that interest and put any seemingly irrelevant homework assignment into a new perspective all while getting you closer to people with those same interests. The work becomes fun when you see a direct line to how it could impact your future career which, for me, created a lot of clarity in my life. Experiences such as broadcasting for UWW-TV and writing for the Royal Purple newspaper did this for me. I will never forget the nerves I had before going live on TV for the first time and all the laughs I have shared in the weekly meetings for both the TV station and the newspaper.
As I enter the uncertain journey that is post-college life, one thing I have the utmost confidence in is that my experiences here have provided me with the tools to navigate these choppy waters. No experience is truly perfect but that is what makes it great is the ups and downs, and I hope when new students finish this stage like I have that they realize these experiences are worth taking with you.