On Graduating

May 15, 2015

Well, it's finally here. My college graduation is this Sunday. While it feels strange and sad to say goodbye to the only thing I've known for the past four years, I'm ready to close this chapter and move onto the next one. I didn't want to wish away my last few weeks of college, but I was definitely aching to be done and start my move to the other side of the country! Today I wanted to share some of my experiences and a lot of pictures! There are several less-than-glamourous pictures that aren't "on brand", but that's life, and I always want to keep it real here on the blog, so I hope you enjoy this little peek into my time at the U of M.

One of my best friends and my roommate Emma from sophomore year.

Checked shooting a gun off my bucket list sophomore year. 

With my friend Kara from high school at a football game. She went to our rival Madison.

From study abroad in London between sophomore and junior year.

With my good friend Sarah sophomore year.

Halloween sophomore year. 

With one of my best friends Malorie from junior year.

Went to an underwater themed party sophomore year.

The renaissance festival sophomore year.

With Malorie freshman year at the Holidazzle parade.

One of several volleyball teams I played on throughout the years.

College was not an easy transition for me. I had friends who absolutely loved it from the beginning, and then friends like me who took a while to find their place. I always say that it just kind of happened that I went to the University of Minnesota. I had always wanted to go there, but then my sister started the year before me and I didn't want to follow her. I felt like I'd been following in her footsteps for far too long, so I looked elsewhere. 

At a football game freshman year.

Up until March of my senior year of high school I had planned on going to Marquette, then changed my mind after a second visit. I had gotten in to all the schools I applied to, but didn't really love any of them, so I thought I might as well just go to the U. 

At a volleyball game sophomore year.

Another freshman football game.

I am a homebody by nature and not the most outgoing of people, so it was a rough start. Then Mark left for school in California, which made it even worse. I was pretty unhappy for the first semester of freshmen year. Then I finally found my close group of friends and started having fun. I'm not sure what changed, but something finally clicked and I was happy again. 

Skating with friends sophomore year.

I'm so glad that I ended up going to the University of Minnesota because I have had the most amazing experience here. I thought that I wanted to get away from home, but it was actually really nice to only be 25 minutes away. I always lived within 3-4 blocks of my sister which I love. I saw my family at least once a week. 

At a Mad Men themed party junior year with my sister Ellen.

I also loved being a ten minute bus ride away from downtown Minneapolis. There were many adventures into the city whether it was trying new restaurants, doing a zombie pub crawl, or going to a baseball game, there was always something to do. 

Zombie pub crawl senior year.

Twins game freshman year. 

In our dorm with Malorie freshman year.

I met some of my favorite people on the planet here. One of my absolute best friends transferred after sophomore year, and I worried that we would lose touch, but to my absolute delight we haven't. We communicate in some form every day! I hope I can continue to have that kind of relationship with all of the friends I've made as we go our separate ways. It's scary to think that I can't just send out a group text and say, "Who's up for margs and karaoke tonight?" But I know that whenever we're together in the future it will be like we haven't been apart. 

At the Christmas market with three of my best friends, Jess, Mary, and Emma senior year.

Spring Jam sophomore year with Mary and Lene. 

Study abroad.

I've learned so much over the last four years, both about myself and my desired career path. I really found my independence. Study abroad definitely helped with that. I would go out and explore London by myself! I've started going out to eat and to movies by myself and I actually look forward to it. 

My co-presidents and friends from NSAC Drew and Simge.

I've also learned a lot about how to be a leader. I was in several clubs throughout college, from Ad Club to being a campus tour guide, but the one that was most meaningful was the National Student Advertising Competition. I've talked about it a little here before, but it really was the most amazing experience. I was in it for two years, and a president this last year. I met some of the smartest, most hardworking people in my college, and I'm proud to call them friends. This experience helped me to become more outspoken and confident in my abilities. 

From a visit between sophomore and junior year.

Halloween senior year.

A summer visit between sophomore and junior year.

Now I'm sure you're wondering, how does Mark fit in to all of this? He was there through it all in some shape or form. Whether he was home visiting, or I was there for a long weekend, or a phone date, he was loving and supporting me through all of the ups and downs. We had a blast going to different colleges together :) We've been together for six and a half years and four of them were long distance. I'm not going to sugar coat it: it wasn't fun, but we made the best of it. We definitely didn't have some of the problems other couples had, because we made it through! I get to see him every day starting in two weeks and I am over the moon excited about it. I think the reason we were so good at long distance was because it was never really a question. We wanted to be together, and that meant being long distance until we were both done with school, so that's what we did. I have no regrets about it. I don't feel like I missed out on anything, I actually feel like I got the best of both worlds. I had the most amazing boyfriend and support system, but I still had my independence living in my own city. 

At a wedding senior year. 

Phew, that was a long one, but I felt like I needed to memorialize college in some way, and what better way to do that on the very blog I started in college!

I hope you have an amazing weekend!

xo Catherine 

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