In 180 days I will be considered a Moravian College alumni. How scary is that? Tonight I began to think about my future and how close graduation was. I also began to reflect on the last 444 days (I looked up this number) I have spent being a Moravian College student.

Shortly, I am blessed to be a Hound.

As most of my friends and family know, I didn’t start out here. Sometimes I regret that choice, wishing I had spent more time at my college. But I do not regret the lessons I learned from going to a community college.

Through the community college, I learned to balance work, a full school load, relationships, and extra curricular activities. My professors saw something in me and nominated me for various scholarships and dinners. I became more comfortable in my own skin. I had an idea of who I wanted to be and where I wanted my life to go.

I also found my voice. I found the thrill of leaping into the unknown.

One day there were posters around campus saying an adviser from Moravian College was coming to meet perspective students. It was a free consultation. I thought “why not give it a go?” and I registered for a time slot.

I was accepted that day.

I came to Moravian as an individual who followed the path, never taking the road less traveled. Here, I decided to go off the path. Why not take more chances at my new school? What would happen if I said yes?

Because I said yes, I joined a sorority called Gamma Sigma Sigma. The girls and guys have become my main support system on and off campus. If I needed a good laugh or a shoulder to cry on, they would be there. They supported everything I did, aiding me in whatever way they could. Because of them, I became comfortable with taking chances and saying yes even more.

Because I said yes, I signed myself up for an alternative spring break trip. A year prior I would never have done this. I would have begged a friend to go along. I could not  handle being around a group of total strangers. But now I knew that this was a good thing. You have to go out of your comfort zone. I had one of the best times of my college career with this trip.

Because I said yes, I became a regular volunteer at a local animal shelter. A local shelter was looking for rabbit/small animal volunteers. Since it was so close to campus, I sent an email. I knew nothing about taking care of rabbits, but I was willing to learn. I walked in the door that day and fell in love. Ask anyone who knows me. They know I’m crazy about these complex little creatures now!

Because I said yes, I am currently studying abroad. I needed to either fill my semester with electives on campus or go abroad. So why not go abroad? I could afford it and my friends always talked about their experiences. This would be a complete shock to me. I would be utterly out of my comfort zone. I’ve learned how to navigate and interact with people from all over the globe. I’ve tried food and activities I may not have ever done otherwise.

Because I said yes, I was nominated and awarded the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges for Moravian College. They were looking for a student who was not only involved on campus, but also in the surrounding community. I was nominated by faculty members and my application went through a board of members. And somehow, I was picked. If it weren’t for Moravian, I may not have become so involved as a student. I was used to my routine of work and school. I never jumped at leadership opportunities. I learned to leap at chances given to me. I  quickly learned  that whatever the outcome may be, you will only better yourself by it.

And that’s my advice to my underclassmen friends.

Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way while at Moravian.

You never know where saying yes will take you.

And I will forever be thankful for everything that has happened due to the decision to call Moravian College my home.

Hound ’em!