As I come to the final month of my time at Anna Maria College, I find it almost overwhelming to reflect on my four years here. In 2010 when I was fresh from the classrooms of my high school, I found myself in a new era of my life that I had not adequately prepared for. During my first semester, I struggled to keep up with the increased demand of succeeding and I thought that I may not be able to reach my goals. However, being at such a small institution, I quickly found myself surrounded by the right group of students—both upperclassmen and those in my own class—who showed me how to get the most out of my Anna Maria College experience and turn myself around.
As the years went by, class-by-class, semester-by-semester, I finally reached my senior year. As I sat in my first class as a senior, I looked back and realized how much I had done in what seemed like such a short period of time. Through being an orientation leader alone, I had worked with various freshman classes and saw in a lot of them what I saw in myself when I was in those students’ shoes. Some were confused, some were prepared, and some were in-between. I was able to reassure them that even if they didn’t know exactly what they wanted to do in life, they had plenty of time, resources and support at AMC to help shape their future.
In addition to learning from my peers, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with various administrators at Anna Maria College. Many have become my mentors, as well as some of the greatest advocates for student success that I know. I remember vividly President Calareso’s speech on move-in day in August of 2010. He encouraged us to absorb everything and anything we could while at Anna Maria College. I’m certainly glad I took his advice.
Now, with graduation being merely a blink away, I look to the next phase of my education. I’ll be attending the Higher Education Administration graduate program at Merrimack College, where I’ll also be part of a fellowship program in the Office of Academic Enrichment. My undergraduate experience at AMC helped shape my intended future and I look forward to making a career out of helping students make their transitions into higher education.I often remind myself that I more than likely wouldn’t have gotten to this point in my life if it wasn’t for my experiences, support and growth at AMC. It’s amazing how much can change in just four years. Between the friends you make, the ones you lose, the goals you reach, and the new goals you set, the Class of 2014’s upcoming commencement is a culmination of what each of us achieved as individuals over these critical last four years.
As a senior at Anna Maria College with one semester left, you can imagine there is a lot on my mind concerning the immediate future. One might say that this time in a senior’s college career can be very stressful, but I’m glad to report that a lot of the stress has been taken away because of how AMC prepares its students for the future. Since I was a freshman, my growth at AMC continued each year as I met new challenges that forced me to find new solutions. I went from being a general member of the activities board to eventually becoming a member of the student government association executive board. I learned a lot in and out of the classroom that I know I couldn’t have learned anywhere else and I am glad to be leaving this institution with the knowledge I obtained.
For about a year and a half now I have been determined to find a career in higher education, as well as receive a master’s in higher education administration; I am ready to do both. My final semester will include a lot of applying and waiting, applying and waiting, but at the same time it will be exciting beyond belief! It’s hard to imagine how four years of your life can go by so quickly, the friends you make, the people you meet, the people you lose, and the things you learn.
While being a student at AMC I have had the pleasure of working with many professors and staff in order to get the most out of my education. A number have had an instrumental impact on me that has helped me to become who I am today. When freshman come to Anna Maria College they are told how helpful the small community life style can be but they don’t really know how beneficial it is until they have actually experienced it. I have experienced it over and over again, and while I am sad to leave, I am excited to use what I have gathered at AMC and apply it to the rest of my life in whatever direction it may bring me.