Thank You UD

In 6 days, I will be a graduate of the University of Delaware. Wow. Where did the time go? These past four years raced by and I am sitting here in my college apartment just thinking of everything I’ve gone through during my time at UD. I want to say thank you UD.

My college experience hasn’t been perfect. It hasn’t been what I wanted or what I expected. These past four years have not been the best four years of my life. They have consisted of some of the hardest and most challenging moments of my life. From roommate issues and homesickness in my first semester of college. Then to attributing my value and worth to my friends and not properly addressing my mental health issues during my sophomore year of college. Then to my life falling apart and every aspect of it changing from friendships ending to me having crippling doubts leading to my rock bottom within the first month in the fall semester of my junior year. Then in my spring semester of junior year to go through the deaths of 2 people close to me for the first time ever in my life and the start of this pandemic. Then in my senior year trying to plan out my future, apply to grad school, all during this unprecedented time. All of this is barely scratching the surface of the challenges I went through during my time in college. If anything, that is the cliff notes version of the cliff notes version of the challenges that I went through in college.

With that being said, I did have some of the best moments of my life in college. During my winter break of my freshman year, I went on a community service trip to Houston, Texas where that trip changed my life in so many ways. On that trip, I helped provide disaster relief for the victims of Hurricane Harvey by gutting homes that weren’t even touched yet nearly 5 months after the storm had hit. In the winter break of my junior year, I got to study abroad in Queensland, Australia for 2 weeks. I got to see a piece of the world that I never thought I would ever see in my wildest dreams. It was my first time out of the country and that trip changed my life. Also, in college I was able to gain over 400 hours of community service through the various organizations I was involved in. I was able to work as a camp counselor for a nonprofit, and that job still impacts my life to this day. I was able to be Editor in Chief for another blog that got so many writers and viewers. I was able to launch my own blog. I was able to write rough drafts of 2 novels, one of which I am planning on editing and publishing within the next few years. I was able to student teach one of the challenging times to be a teacher. I gained the most amazing friends in the world. Wholeheartedly the best people I’ve ever met, and I am still kind of shocked that they want to be my friend.

Every experience that I’ve had has helped me become the person I am today. Whether it was by showing me some of my passions or introducing me to my values. I am not bitter anymore about every challenge and heartache that I’ve been through in college. I used to be, and I used to hate myself for some of the mistakes that I’ve made. I used to think that this world was against me and that every bad moment or that every rejection was just the universe’s way of reminding me that it hates me. I don’t think that way anymore. In fact, I think almost the exact opposite way. I think every mistake and rejection is the universe telling me it cares about me and wants better things for me. My core value as a person is growth. I take every challenge, rejection, and mistake as a learning experience. I take every single bit of feedback that I can get because I want to grow to the best version of myself that I can be. I have learned so much throughout my time in college, I could write a full novel about it and still barely touched on the things that I’ve learned.

College has made me resilient and the biggest lesson that I’ve learned through my time here is the value of persistence. The value of not giving up on your dreams and on yourself as a person. Life is going to be filled with challenges, some of which may feel like are impossible to take on. Here’s the thing every challenge given to you can be conquered by you. It’s just not always going to be pretty. However, the end result will be stunning and beautiful. Every challenge you endure will make you stronger. Trust me that’s what happened for me.

This is why I am thankful for UD. If it weren’t for UD, I would not have gone through the experiences that I’ve gone through. I wouldn’t have become the person that I am today, and I am a pretty awesome person (at least I think so). I wouldn’t have gained all of the priceless life lessons that I’ve learned along the way. College wasn’t easy, but the best things in life don’t come easily.

Thank you UD.

Kathryn DeBois

@dayswithdebois on Instagram

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