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When I first came to Kent State, I thought I had everything figured out.  I knew what I wanted to do, what my future had in store, and most of all, I thought I knew who I was. I prided myself on being smart, able to grasp most things quickly with the exception of math and I thought college would be similar. I had no idea what was in store for me. Sleepless nights, mental breakdowns and a feeling of absolute cluelessness.

I can proudly say that after four years at Kent State University, I’m graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. But the degrees aren’t what I’ll think of when I want to reminisce.

It’ll be the way the sun beamed off my skin while I did homework on the Student Green with my best friend. It’ll be the late nights spent in dorm rooms with my friends, watching movies and scrounging for money to order pizza.

Although my memories during my free time make up a big chunk of my reflections, I can’t help but reminisce on my time during student media. Some of my proudest moments have come out of this newsroom. It was here where I’ve grown the most, learned the most and made memories that I won’t be able to find anywhere else.

The team of journalists I met at the Kent Stater are like no other. Dedicated to their craft, my fellow students gave their spare time to the success of our paper and website. Tired eyes were met with laughs around the conference table meant for eight, but filled with 13 while we worked into the early hours of the morning.

We come together during times of tragedy, we have each others’ backs and make sure we’re there to uplift one another. Many would say that we’re colleagues, friendly when we have to be because of our close proximity and long hours, but we’ve become so much more.

I’ve went through my four years on campus with these people, I’ve grown with them and I’ve found who I am in the midst of the chaos. I figured out my next steps in life in the newsroom, I was guided in the newsroom, I took my first steps in a journalism leadership role in the newsroom and it’s somewhere I’ve called home during my time here.

So when I look back on my college career, I’ll look back at it all. The good, the bad and everything in between. I’ll think about almost failing statistics, and maybe I’ll think about the way I grew as a person. As time goes on, I know I’ll forget all the little details, like the way the spring smelled on campus (fresh flowers, rain and a hint of mulch and manure), or the way the wind froze my hair on my way to class.

But what it’ll remember, what I’ll truly always value, are the people I met and the way they helped me grow into a woman who’s ready more than ever to conquer the world.

Lyric Aquino is the feature editor. Contact her at laquino@kent.edu.

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