College Reflection From an (Almost) Graduate

William Peace University Main lawn and fountain

By Caitlin Richards

In just a couple of days, I along with the class of 2020, will be a William Peace University graduate. At the time of starting college in 2016, I never thought I was going to make it to graduation, but now it seems that these years have flown by. Before I get into my reflection of my college experience, here are a few things that stick out to me that I will miss: 

  • Trying to find parking.
  • Walking to class and tripping on bricks. 
  • Sitting on the porch of Main to study in between classes. 
  • Swinging on the balcony of Main with the view of downtown clearing my head before my next class. 
  • Grabbing coffee from Peace Perk. 
  • Dodging the Peace squirrels. 
  • Hearing the church bells letting me know that I am late for class. 
  • Trying to find parking.
  • Waiting for what seemed like a hundred years on the elevator.  
  • Booking it up the stairs to class. 
  • Sitting on the couch of the third floor of Flowe studying and talking to students waiting for class to start. 
  • Walking to Krispy Kreme. 
  • Laying in the hammocks. 
  • Spending countless hours in the Communication lab. 
  • Trying to find parking.

Aside from the fun college memories that are irreplaceable and the friends that I have made, WPU is more than that to me. 

Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to be a reporter or journalist. I had fallen in love with storytelling and I could not imagine myself doing anything else. I knew I was going to major in Communication wherever I decided to go to college.  

When I visited Peace for an open house, I knew right away that that was going to be where I attended college. Coming from a homeschool background, I loved the small class sizes. But then I walked into the Communication lab and saw the cameras and green screen, which sealed the deal. 

I was so excited to apply, and when the acceptance letter came, I was overwhelmed with emotion and was ready to start my college experience at WPU. I declared my major in Communication with a concentration in Integrated Media. I knew that I was going to fall in love with the Communication classes. 

What I didn’t expect was to enjoy other classes just as much. Some of the non-COM classes I took were Cultural Anthropology with Dr. Melomo, Intro to Criminal Justice with Dr. Kusko and Intro to Theatre with Mr. Hodge. I knew WPU was the perfect place for me when I loved other classes besides my COM classes, and how the professors made learning fun. 

I remember going to Dr. Kusko’s office when I got a low grade on a test and was almost in tears apologizing for how bad I did. She calmed me down and motivated me to continue on. She always continued to offer her support even after taking her class. 

Dr. Melomo’s Cultural Anthropology class is still one of my favorite classes I have taken. He was also my adviser at the time and suggested for me to take the Peace Times, which pretty much became my life and is where I found my place. I can’t imagine not being in the Peace Times anymore since I have taken it every semester since freshman year. 

Because of my love for theatre and the way Mr. Hodge taught class, I decided to pick up a minor in theatre to learn more about the history of it. 

Marti Maguire gave me a deeper understanding of journalism and set me up for a career in journalism. I also can’t even begin to count the amount of times I just dropped by her office just to talk. 

Ms. Robertson taught me statistics in a way that was understandable. My fear was that statistics would be the class that would hold me back from graduation since I have never been a math person. She was supportive and broke statistics down to where I not only learned statistics, but enjoyed it. 

Mr. Christman gave me skills that I would need for obtaining a job in the media world, whether it was through all of his communication classes or playing a card trick to learn a lesson. 

Each one of these teachers impacted my college experience more than they could know. 
During summer and winter break, I would look forward to going back to campus, sitting in class, learning with coffee in my hand. I don’t think anyone looks forward to exams, but I did enjoy learning something new everyday and taking notes in class. 

Over the course of my four years at Peace, I have cried many tears, been super stressed, and thought finals were going to be the death of me, but it was all worth it. I joke with some of my professors that I’m going to be back next semester because I can’t imagine not going to class at Peace or not writing articles for the Peace Times. But I know that I am ready to graduate and start a new chapter. 

Thank you WPU for giving me some of the best college memories and preparing me for my future. You will always be the most special campus, and I’ll visit you often.

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