What This Semester Has Meant to Me

Rounding out my FINAL semester of school has brought me to reflect on not just the last 5 years, but specifically this last semester of my undergraduate career. It has been a journey (journey) and this semester has been especially challenging, arduous, mentally and emotionally exhausting. After bouncing back from a year filled with personal turmoil, graduating seemed like it was just never going to happen, and now I can't believe I am here finishing up final projects and hanging up my hat at Northern Kentucky University. I worked as an intern at Fifth Street Gallery in downtown Cincinnati this summer, and I remember meeting with the head of the department to fill out my paper work and mentioning that I was also taking 15 summer courses on top of 15 scheduled for the fall in order to graduate in December. He basically told me I was crazy (he's not wrong) for the amount of work I was about to put on myself. I can't lie, there were times this semester where I thought to myself "wow he was right," but I have continued to persevere. 

Taking on two jobs, fifteen credit hours, four of which being studios, and making a rookie mistake of taking classes with someone you dated over the summer (I highly advise against this) was grueling, but I have risen above it all. As cliche as it sounds, hard work, diligence, and merely believing in yourself will take you so far in life. The tenacious attitude I have built over the years has allowed me to see that even when things truly seem like they will never improve or get better, keeping these vital reminders will show you that they will. These are also skills that I know will take me well beyond my undergraduate career, and allow me to succeed in both my professional and personal life. I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping your eye on the prize, and although I have slipped up along the way, I realize this now more than ever.

In the end, I have learned to be more appreciative for the challenges I have faced in life because it is where I have been that has made me who I am today, and rather than complaining about the journey I am extremely grateful that I have been blessed with the privilege of higher education. This semester has been filled with personal and artistic growth, constant admiration and inspiration from my peers, and knowledge that will take me well beyond the classroom.

 

Regina Menninger