A lot has happened in the past three months: I’ve graduated college, I’ve moved home and now I’m trying to find my way and prepare for my future.
The weeks leading up to my college graduation were confusing, exciting and scary. I wasn’t sure how to feel about finishing my college career and moving on to the next chapter in my life. I did a lot in those last couple of weeks to top off the three years I spent at the University of Oregon. All were wonderful memories that I thought I would share.
To start the final stretch to graduation, I volunteered at the Prefontaine Classic as part of the media team and got to see the little bits and pieces that go into the media and press aspects of such a large sporting event.
It was great to see the precise planning that goes into an event that occurs annually and brings together the worlds best athletes. Every event had to be timed perfectly and with that, the interviews that followed.
Every news outlet that attended had questions prepared and their laptops out and ready to submit the final story as soon as the event was over. It was an amazing experience that I owe to the event planning class and the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication.
(I also got to meet a pretty cool duck)
The same weekend (Memorial Day weekend), I got to spend quality time with my best friend and big Gabriella in her hometown Hood River, Oregon. Our girls weekend with her mom and family friend was fun and exciting and full of funny moments.
It started with a picnic that overlooked Hood River and everything was peaceful and enjoyable until the park’s sprinklers pushed us out of our little spot. You may be able to see this hilarious moment online as there was a Japanese family filming the entire endeavor.
We hiked, we ate delicious food, enjoyed frosés and just relaxed for the weekend which was what both of us needed to push through the last couple weeks of our senior year.
The following weekend Gabriella and I both had to say our goodbyes to our service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. The weekend included our alumni potluck, a large service event and our end-of-year banquet.
It was sad to say goodbye to all the wonderful people I met through the organization, but it was even harder to say goodbye to my family. We all became so close over the school year that it was sad to imagine myself and Gabriella graduating and moving on from the UO.
The banquet was emotional and memorable and I’m thankful I was able to spend time with my service group reflecting on the year. I’m also grateful to have recieved the Triathalon Award. It made me remember the great things that I did through the organization and how volunteering makes a large impact on a community.
I owe a lot to Alpha Phi Omega and the Zeta Psi chapter. It’s a wonderful organization that teaches the importance and value of service, but also exercises leadership skills and helps develop friendships. I met my best friend there and I’ll never take that for granted.
In addition to APO’s banquet and goodbyes, I also had to say goodbye to my call center family. I worked at the University’s Annual Giving Program call center my entire college career and I finalized that experience with our end-of-year picnic.
The group of goofy friends I made over the years continue to amaze me in their accomplishments either at school or now as graduates like myself.
My experience cold calling and raising money for university academics is also an experience that I will forever cherish. The skills I’ve learned will help me wherever I go in my career and the relationships I created will stay with me even if I’m a couple states away. I can assure you I’ll never forget that “my name is Kelsey and I’m a student calling on behalf of the University of Oregon.”
To finalize my last week of school, I presented my public relations portfolio to a panel of professionals. I traveled to the Portland campus to sit down with two gentlemen who gave me wonderful advice and constructive criticism on the printed portfolio that I had worked on during spring term.
After I thanked the panel and left the room, I had completed my college career. It was a bittersweet moment, but boy was I thankful to be done.
Though I was done with my classwork, I had one final task left, graduation.
What a weekend that was. It was amazing and again very emotional. My mother and I had a blast celebrating my graduation and I loved the feeling of accomplishment that came from crossing that stage and accepting my diploma (or diploma cover really).
I was thankful to have many people present for the weekend. Of course, all my friends that were also graduating were celebrating as much as I was. But also my close friend Samantha who still has one more year. The best part was that she bonded with my mom and you can be sure that I, and possibly my mother too, will be there for her graduation next year.
Since graduation, I’ve traveled back to Colorado and I’m currently living at home. The trip back to Colorado was a road trip with Gabriella as my copilot and my mom in a very packed car behind us. That in itself was an adventure, but a fun one at that.
Stay tuned for more about what I’m doing in colorful Colorado and what my plans for the future are.