Two Days.

Two days.

In two days, I will walk across the stage as a college graduate. In two days, I will have a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Arts & Design. In two days, I will have my last show at the Bisignano Art Gallery. In two days, I say goodbye to the people who I have spent many long days and late nights with, building friendships that turned into family. In two days, I will no longer be living within five minutes of all of my friends. In two days, I will not be close enough to them to just text them and say, “Anyone want to go grab food?” or “Want to go to grocery shopping?” In two days, I will be leaving the place that I’ve called home for the last three and a half years (the other half was Spain) for the last time as a resident. I’ll be back to visit, but I probably won’t be moving back to Dubuque any time soon.

I am excited to move home and be done with having a long-distance relationship FOREVER. I am excited to hopefully get a job soon and start my career. I am excited to watch some of my friends get married. I am excited to get married(!!!). I am excited to make future “road trips” up to Dubuque to see my friends because I know I’m not going to be able to never come back here again. I am excited to see what life has in store for me and for what is to come in these next months…… but I am sad. My heart is sad.

Dubuque has provided me with so many memories and experiences…I’ve grown up so much since moving here in 2014. I went from being such a timid and shy freshman to being an independent and strong woman who is ready to take on the world. I was lucky enough to travel the world and visit eight (soon to be nine) different countries (Puerto Rico, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Vatican, and soon to be Ireland), along with short trips to Omaha, Decorah, Des Moines (not sure if this counts or not..), Galena, Madison, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Minneapolis, Chicago, Kansas City, New Glarus, Atlanta, St. Petersburg, Palm Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Tampa.

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I’ve attended many concerts and events along the way, some at UD, some not.

(Concerts: Parachute (3 times), SoMo (2 times), All Time Low (2 times), Panic! At The Disco, Nick Jonas, Hunter Hayes (2 times), Dan & Shay (2 times), Jon Bellion, Sam Hunt, Kris Allen,  3oh!3, American Authors, Mike Posner, Daya, Thomas Rhett, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Dustin Lynch, Little Big Town, Ke$ha, Waterparks, Swmrs, The Wrecks, Joshua Radin, William Fitzsimmons Old Dominion, The Railers, SonReal, Kirko Bangz, Parmalee, Tyler Farr, Eli Young Band, Timeflies, Britt Nicole, Colton Dixon, TobyMac, Fifth Fret.)

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(Events: Paint Party, Foam Party (2 times), Mentoring (2 years), Ropes Course (2 years), Color Run (2 times), St. Baldrick’s (2 times), Homecoming festivities (all 4 years), Wingo (all 4 years), Egg Dash (2 years), Headphone Disco, Retreats with Campus Ministry (3 times), Free Ice Skating, UD Sporting Events (Multiple), Mental Health Awareness Week (3 years), HOPE Suicide Awareness Event, Cinco De Mayo, Día de Los Muertos, Intramurals, Trips to the Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchards, Bbqs on the Quad (Multiple), Lake Red Rock Hot Air Balloon Classic (where I got to ride in a hot air balloon!), Des Moines Farmers Market (Multiple), Dubuque Farmers Market (Multiple), Oktoberfest, Dubuque Millwork Market (Multiple), Iowa Hawkeye Football Game (Multiple), The Outback Bowl, Des Moines Art Festival (2 times), Iowa State Fair (Multiple), Adventureland (Multiple), Late Night Laughs at UD, Big Ten Championship Baseball game…and probably more events that I’m forgetting about.) ………. (Holy cow.)

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(There are probably more that I am forgetting, but I think that list is long enough.)

I’ve learned how to use the programs in the Adobe Suite, plus some other programs such as Autodesk 3Ds Max, Microsoft Office, and many website CMS (Content Management Systems) such as WordPress, Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace. I’ve learned how to take constructive criticism and let it help me to become a better designer and a better person overall. I’ve taught myself how to snowboard, how to do calligraphy, typography, paint, paint with coffee, wood-burn, and bullet journal. I’ve learned how to make delicious coffee drinks, how to meal prep and grocery shop without buying a ton of excessive groceries, and how to save myself as much money as possible and taught myself how to work hard for what I want. I’ve learned to be independent and stand up for myself. I joined a co-educational fraternity (which I never thought I would do, just saying). I’ve participated in many art shows. I have drank and continue to drink my weight and more in coffee.

I’ve done a lot. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown a lot. I’ve changed a lot.

I’m having a really hard time putting my thoughts and feelings into words. There aren’t enough thanks I can give to this place and all of the people I’ve met along the way. What I do know is that these next few days are going to be filled with excitement, happiness, sadness, and tears. I’m not sure I am ready to say goodbye to the place where I’ve built my life and myself the last four years.

If you see me in the next two days, be sure to say ‘hello’ and ‘see you later’ and if I am crying, don’t be alarmed. It’s going to happen a lot and I have accepted it.

Dubuque will always have a special place in my heart. I’m going to miss it dearly, but I will be back.

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