Four years at Duke University. When I say it, I suppose that does sound like a long time, doesn’t it? When adding up the many hours spent in classes and the library, the frequent meals at the Dillo, and the innumerable ePrint pages that I have accumulated since arriving at Duke as a freshman…four years IS a long time. However, the amazing people, places, and opportunities that I have encountered over the course of my Duke experience have made those four years go by in what feels like the blink of an eye.
Alas, I now write this as a graduate of Duke University. The final weeks of Duke life are something that every senior treasures. You want to take advantage of every last minute you have to spend time with friends, family, and loved ones celebrating this accomplishment. After finals week concludes, many Duke students flock to Myrtle Beach for some much-deserved rest and relaxation. This year I hit the coast with friends from my student dance group, Defining Movement (defMo). Beach Week as a senior is particularly special. I loved having the quality time, away from stresses of class and homework, to hang out with Duke friends who I won’t be seeing everyday on the Quad anymore.
As a senior, Beach Week is just the beginning of the graduation fun. After a full dose of sand and sunshine, students head back to campus for Commencement Weekend. The campus was bustling with visitors, and there were constantly fun events to go to. I was lucky enough to have lots of loved ones there, including my parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunt. Between the farewell dinners and brunches with close professors, the beautiful Baccalaureate service in the Duke Chapel, the commencement ceremony in Wallace Wade Stadium, and the conferring of degrees, my family was able to experience the magic of Duke’s campus and people. The commencement speeches encouraged us to reflect on who we are and to remember what is important in life as we move forward to help solve the world’s problems.
Moving forward, I have quite an exciting summer ahead of me. A Benenson Award in the Arts is granting me the opportunity to participate in a series of dance workshops in New York City. While I am there, I will also be interviewing for with potential employers. As a recipient of a Markets and Management Certificate at Duke, I am strongly pursuing options in marketing, advertising, and PR.
Lots of people asked me if I was sad about graduating, and I have to admit I didn’t quite know how to answer. I’m not sure yet that I have fully wrapped my head around the reality that my undergraduate career has come to a close… but something still leaves me excited and optimistic. In fact, I feel confident that my Duke experience has really just begun. In my experiences through internships, travel abroad, and the job search, I have discovered just how strong the Blue Devil bond can be. I seem to run into fellow Dukies all the time, whether or not I am on campus day-to-day. Every Duke grad that I have encountered has an immediate enthusiasm and friendliness that makes me feel like I am right back on the Main Quad again. We have all shared that Duke experience and are connected by our passion for the place that helped us to discover just who we are. Though it’s great to depart with a diploma in hand, it feels even better to leave campus knowing that I am forever a part of the Duke family.
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