Four years ago I can remember packing the back of my parents’ SUV with everything I thought I’d need to take with me as I started college. My boxes weren’t just weighed down by the pictures of my closest friends from high school, movies to watch when I had free time and my new wardrobe, they were also heavy with the hopes and dreams that I had for myself.
On our first drive up to school, I saw a bumper sticker for James Madison University on the car in front of ours, which was where my best friend was going to school at the time, and I lost it. I wondered whether I’d be able to make new friends and if I’d become as close to them as I had with my high school classmates and whether or not I’d made the right decision to attend Slippery Rock. My doubts subsided as I checked into my room for the first time where my best friend, Nicole, was waiting for me, and as I said my tearful goodbyes to my parents, I somehow knew everything was going to be okay.
I’d like to think that becoming a journalist was always in the cards for me as I was named after one of the greats, Katie Couric. For many years I’ve known that my love of writing and my passion for fashion would lead me down the road to becoming a fashion journalist. I first tried my hand at fashion journalism in August 2011 whenever I wrote my first fashion column for The Rocket, which I’d later name “ROCK’N Fashion,” as a review of the fashions seen on red carpet for the MTV Video Music Awards, and the rest is history.
Four years later I’ve written nearly 70 columns on everything from red carpet reviews to trend reports to odes to some of the most recognizable fashion icons of our time. The feature stories that I’ve written over the years have been many, and I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to talk to a variety of people and educate myself on the issues the student body cares about.
My time at Slippery Rock was made even better by the friendships that I know will stay with me for a lifetime. To Nicole, Lauryn and QuinnCee, the best roommates and friends a girl could ever ask for, thank you for standing by my side over the last few years. All of the memories that we’ve made together from weekend trips to Butler to our epic craft nights to enjoying the conversations at Boozel more than the food, are just some of the moments that stand out when thinking about the time we shared together.
One of the highlights of my college career was becoming the Campus Life Editor of The Rocket. I was able to work with a group of people that are passionate and put their all into producing a paper of the highest quality every week. I couldn’t have accomplished all that I did this year without this year’s Assistant Campus Life Editor, Janelle, whose ideas and talent inspired me every week.
To all of the professors I’ve had, especially Dr. Harry and Dr. Zeltner, thank you for every lesson you taught me.
Thank you to two of my biggest fans, my grandmothers, who have been my most loyal readers since the beginning. I’ve loved hearing your excitement every time you get a letter full of articles in the mail and getting your feedback on what I’ve written.
Truth be told, I wouldn’t have made it through college without the support of my parents. Mom and dad, I wish I could divide my degree into thirds and share it with you. Thank you for paying for me to go to school and for helping me with my assignments when I needed it.
You told me that I could be anything that I wanted and have supported the decisions I’ve made, and have stood by my side every step of the way. You’re my twin pillars and my ultimate inspirations in everything that I do, and I’m proud to be your daughter.
As this chapter of my life comes to an end and I prepare to enter the “real world,” I’m not sure what the future holds yet, but I know that I’d like to be pounding the pavement in the Big Apple on my way to the Freedom Tower to start my job for one of the fashion magazines that I’ve grown to love over the years.
All the days of my life have led up to this moment, and as I leave SRU I know that I made the right choice for my future by deciding to study here, and all of the experiences that I’ve had in and out of the classroom have prepared me for my future endeavors.
Bon voyage, SRU!