My Last Day at the University of South Carolina

11:04:00 AM

Last day of school pic for mom!

Today is my last day of school. Ever.
As I sit here by the iconic fountain in front of the Thomas Cooper Library writing this post I can't help but reflect on everything that got me to this point.
A little known fact is that my parents had to bring me to school kicking and screaming. No joke. I wish I was kidding. I told my parents a mere 7 days before school started that under no circumstances would I be going. What did I want to do instead? I don't know, go to Africa? Save the world?
I was going through a bit of a quarter life crisis. My plan of all plans was to win Miss Teen USA and move to New York and tackle the whole college thing at a much later date. I was so convinced that it would happen, in fact, that I made my mother put a disclaimer on my high school graduation announcements that said "Kelsey will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall-- unless she's living in Trump Tower as Miss Teen USA!"

But you can't plan your life. As I look back on those times when I was screaming and crying saying, "I'M NOT GOING!!!!!" I can't help but laugh. Oh, to be 17.
My parents, being the sensible people they are, had the foresight to send me anyway. And thank God they did.
I would not trade my last 4 years at the University of South Carolina for anything in this world. My time in school has created a sense of purpose and power and strength within me that I will carry through the rest of my life. It has made me proud to be myself and will make me work every day to help others be their best selves as well.

The most important of all, though, is the people that I've grown to call friends since my start here just 4 years ago. The people here have been my solace. They stood by my side after I was hit by a car freshman year and later recovered from my final spinal surgery. They were there when I ended a relationship with someone close to me. These are the people I spend countless hours laughing and drinking margaritas with at least once a week to this day.
It's not just friends, either. I have developed some of the best friendships with some of my professors. It makes all the difference in the world to have someone in your corner to empower and motivate you.

As I look back on my time here, I'm definitely sad. I could probably burst into tears right now, but there's a tour group passing and I'd hate to scare them off. But outside of that sadness, I am deeply, thoroughly excited about my future to come [announcement soon to come.]
The hard part is knowing that things will never again be the same. I can come back to school and even meet up with friends again, but the magic of being a student at the University of South Carolina will never be the same again. The joy of my time here will exist only in my memories.

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