I came to UM with high hopes and the best intentions. Some were met and some were altered along the way.
Most of all, I discovered myself in the process. I’ve faced challenges I never thought I would have. I took courses I never imagined were taught. Professors and students became mentors to me – people I strive to embody.
Becoming the editor-in-chief of our award-winning student newspaper is my greatest achievement. While book learning and facts can help you with exams, there is nothing like working with a team of people day-in and day-out to produce something extraordinary. You learn a lot about the type of person you are when put in difficult situations.
I’m most definitely not the same person who walked into Stanford Residential College those four short years ago. And, it’s OK to change. It’s OK to switch majors and join new clubs and experience things you never thought you would, because you’re in college. Now is the time to do it.
Don’t be ashamed that you want to forge your own path. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s don’t let your advisers, professors or fellow students cement your path for you. You know you better than they do. While it’s fine to receive advice, don’t allow yourself to get lost living someone else’s dream.
It’s OK to make mistakes and fail – I’ve had my fair share. I took each one, and I learned from them.
UM is the best decision I made, and I don’t regret anything, including the failures. I am leaving a better person than I came in. I have friends and professors to thank for that. These mentors have helped shape me into the person I am now. I am forever grateful.
Make the best of college. You’re here to get a degree, but you’re also here to become the person you were always meant to be. At UM, I found it. I have no doubt everyone here can as well.
As one of my greatest mentors said in her final letter, “Thank you to our readers, the phenomenal newspaper staff and our adviser for an amazing college experience at The Miami Hurricane.”
Demi Rafuls is a senior majoring in microbiology and immunology. She will continue on as the editor-in-chief of First Impression. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.