The wonder years

Yep. That’s me (with my friend Steve) at my high school graduation in 2006. It’s weird to think that in just about 2 months I’ll be donning another cap and gown (this time royal blue) and be graduating from college. Yikes!

I’m at home, relaxing for a few days while I’m on Spring Break and I found myself perusing through my high school year book for the past 20 minutes. It was sitting there on my bookshelf so I figured, why not?

It’s amazing how much I’ve changed in the past four years. I’ve grown up and I’ve completely grown away from everything I knew in high school, with the exception of about…oh…four people.

In high school i dyed my hair blonde. Was really into perfecting this “image.” I wanted designer clothes. I thought a sequined purse was a good idea…and my eyeliner was always smudged because I thought it was “edgy.”

Now, I just don’t care. I’m a bit heavier but my makeup looks better. I no longer think sequins are appropriate on purses and if I can get the same hoodie at Target for $30 less, then that’s where I’m going to buy it. I gained confidence in college and I grew into myself.

I think it all has to do with the fact that I went away to school and (although reluctantly at first) opened myself up to new and different things. I look at my “friends” from high school who never left home and they’re still as mean and immature as they were in high school–it’s because nothing in their lives has changed. Even if they went to college, they never bothered to meet new people. It’s like their entire adult lives so far has just been one big high school pep rally and it’s kind of pathetic.

We were talking about our college experiences in The Spectrum office the other day. One of the girls wanted to quit because she wanted to transfer to a school she liked better and where she had no friends. I obviously can’t tell her what to do, but I strongly urged her to at least stick it out at UB for another year to be sure she really does hate it.
Freshman year sucks for a lot of people. It did for me. I missed my family and my friends. My roommate was a psycho who didn’t speak English. It took me a while to find my niche, but when I did, UB ended up being everything I hoped it would be.

I got my start in journalism there. I fell in love. Got my heart broken. Met awesome people. Found my passion. I went from being a shy mommy’s girl to an independent adult.
I honestly think that going away to college–completely away from your friends and family–is the best thing you can do for yourself. I know that because I spent the last four years on my own in a different city that when I embark on my graduate school journey in New York City in the fall (YES! I finally got in!) that I’m going to be okay. I’ve learned how to fend for myself. I’ve learned how to grow up.

All those kids from my high school who are about to turn 22 and still don’t know what it’s like to walk into a grocery store, do your own laundry or be separated from your comfort zone are going to be completely out of luck once they’re kicked out of the nest.

In just over one year it will be my five-year high school reunion. Good luck to the class of 2006 in getting what you want post college graduation. I hope most of you have been as lucky as I have and are likewise already on your way.



  1. meg · March 16, 2010

    just so you know… i’ve been told it’s called “hyper blue” LOLOLOL (no joke. it’s legit ub’s color).

  2. Matt · October 11, 2010

    I wasn’t even aware Shen was having a 5 year reunion. Guess who will NOT be there haha.

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