When I sat down to write this column, my last one for The Daily Mississippian, I thought it would be easy. Graduation for me is right around the corner.
I would just write what the last four years at The University of Mississippi have meant to me and how much I’ve enjoyed doing a weekly column for our school newspaper. Maybe include a few anecdotal comments about an experience or two I’ve had. Then end with a well-deserved “thank you” to all the wonderful professors in whose classes I have learned so much, and of course, how much I appreciate all of my classmates and the great friendships that I have made over the past four years.
But, it’s not that easy.
How do you say a simple thank you to people and an institution that have changed your life? To friends that you have made, that while most were much younger than yourself, welcomed you into a camaraderie that you will treasure for the rest of your life? A simple thank you seems so much less than everyone here at Ole Miss deserves.
I came to this school in 2008, not really knowing what to expect. All I knew was this desire that I had had my whole life: to write. I didn’t know anything about the right way to do it. I didn’t know there were certain rules and precedents that were all a part of this thing I loved called journalism. But the professors at the university knew, and they taught me.
I remember when I was seven years old and my parents started giving me an allowance each week. My mother and I would go shopping on Saturdays and I would buy books, those little square Golden Books, with my money. I would sit and read them for hours. I was fascinated with words and how, when you fit them together a certain way, you could invent stories. I knew from that moment forward that I wanted to write, that I needed to write.
The University of Mississippi made that dream come true. Every professor or instructor that I have had over these four years has taught me so much. They taught me to push myself, to never accept less than I could achieve and to realize that if I wanted it badly enough and was willing to work for it, I could have it.
The opportunities that have been placed before me by some of these amazing people, I can never thank them enough for. When I walk down the halls of Farley, I get chills. I know to some that may sound cliché or ridiculous, but it’s true; being able to actually produce a magazine or create a website or write a column, that’s like manna from heaven for me.
The friends I have made here, within these walls, I’ll never forget, and I hope I won’t have to. Even after graduation, they are my friends, my Ole Miss family.
And that is how I’ve always felt here, on this campus: a part of the family. The faculty, staff and students are a wonderful group of people who welcomed me from day one, and who will always live in my heart.
So I say simply:
And pray it’s enough.
Angela Rogalski is a print journalism senior who lives in Abbeville. Follow her on Twitter @abbeangel.
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