Experiences beyond the classroom

As I look back over my years at Millersville University, I can hardly believe how the time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday that I was driving to Millersville for the first time, taking in the strange, new scenery. I remember moving into Diehm Hall and learning how to share a small room with another person. I still have an old copy of the campus map somewhere, which I used to carry around with me to find my classes.

In my second semester, the Editor in Chief at the time asked me if I knew how to use Photoshop. Upon my affirmative answer, this quickly became an invitation to join the Snapper as the new Photography Editory. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Since I joined the Snapper team, I have grown and learned so much. It was more than late nights down in the office. Through the Snapper, I had an opportunity to get out into the community, to meet and talk with new people, and to hone both my organization and artistic skills.

We might all complain at some points about the hard work, the deadlines, and the extra stress, but for me, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Sure, I remember times when I was frustrated nearly to tears, or times when I was stumbling back to bed at some hour that seemed, to me, ungodly, only to get up the next morning for a 9am class. But somehow, I never thought about leaving. The Snapper office has been a place where I found friends I could commiserate with who would always give me support and advice. We’ve come together to produce a paper every week, and that sense of pride is something I will never forget.

When I first came to Millersville, I admit, it wasn’t my first choice. I wanted a bigger school with more class options, something more exciting and farther from home. Well, that just goes to show just how naive I was. Looking back on my experiences here, I know that Millersville University was the right choice for me. I have found so many enjoyable and challenging courses and professors in many subject areas that I could connect with. Last spring, I took a semester to study abroad in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which was an amazing experience. This year, I researched and wrote my senior honors thesis. The possibilities for growth, whether personal or academic, were truly invaluable. I have built up not only an academic network, but a social one as well.

As I prepare to leave Millersville and move on to the next adventure, I feel ready to face whatever comes my way. I know that I will always use the many lessons I’ve learned here no matter what I am doing, and that the friends I have made here will always be an important part of my life.

To all of you students who will be at Millersville next year, I can only encourage you to make the most of your opportunities. Get involved in something; take a risk and choose a course that seems totally outside your comfort zone. You might be surprised at what you find.

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Carla is graduating with a major in English and a minor in history.