Another four years has come and gone. In mere days, the graduating class of 2021 will leave the hallways and Zoom classes of Emporia State for wider pastures beyond the horizon.

For the first time in my life, I don’t know what comes next.

This prospect is both invigorating and debilitatingly scary at the same time. That feeling of being a high school senior only to become a college freshman, of resetting the power scales and starting the journey to the top all over again has been washing over me recently and at times I feel I’m drowning.

Yet, for the first time in my life, the vastness of the world has been opened up in front of me. It was easy going to class thinking I had years more of the same old same old to look forward to, but now, anything is possible--anything that can pay back my student loans anyway. 

My time at ESU seems brief, yet I can hardly remember what it feels like to step foot on campus for the first time, it seems like a lifetime ago. I know that everything we have worked towards in the classroom was to prepare us for the day we left the relative safety of the nest for the big open world but the prospect of taking that first jump is scary when you haven’t ever flown before.

I am ready to fly.

I joined The Bulletin at a time in my life when I was unsure of what and who I was and by helping to tell the stories of countless others in the community I feel like I have found a piece of myself in them. What brings us together is our common, fragile humanity and the desire to be heard.

I have written untold words and innumerable stories but what sticks in my mind is often the mixed looks of joy and shock people have when they are asked to share a few words. They are not my words, but I feel connected to the stories I have helped to tell.

As I graduate I find that I am not the only one in a state of transition. The pandemic has shown me how vital it is that communities have their voices heard. 

I am ever hopeful that God will guide my hand as I seek to tell new stories, and to find new words yet to be written.

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