As I’m getting everything wrapped up and set to graduate, even if this isn’t how I expected it to finish, the past four years have been an extremely up and down time for me at UCA. Considering that I was an alternate to get into the Honors College, I admit I feel like I was lucky to be here in the first place. Trying to find my footing was a bit difficult like any freshman but that’s what everyone always says. I don’t think it ever felt easy for me, though, considering some of the stuff that I remember dealing with. Whether it was the initial days as a freshman and scrambling to work on honors journals or keeping up senior projects, there was always a fresh challenge.

Doing work at the Echo made me realize that the journalism career was something that I should go for, or at least consider the most. I had never been sure what I wanted to do up until this point and, hopefully, I’ll be able to get to do sports writing once the job market is in a normal state. I certainly feel like my time on the staff has made me grow as a person and, while I know I’ve had some ups and downs in terms of how my stories were, it still helped me get through my time in classes and gave me some people that I could really trust. 

I know that I haven’t been the most social person on campus, and I admit that’s probably something I could have worked on. Yet, I’d like to think that there is something I can still make positive out of being one of the quiet people. It means that I could get a better view of everyone and see what people think while just going about my business. You don’t have to be the loudest to make an impact and I know that I did my part to leave something on campus. 

No matter what, I can’t be happier with the experience that I’ve gotten at UCA. I’ve had several fantastic professors who helped me out throughout all of my courses, and several friends who were willing to put up with me no matter how bad things got. I’m not sure who to list off but I know that everyone who has been behind me knows what they did. 

As I finish my degree, I don’t think that I could have been happier about how I did. I know I did a good job on my thesis, I know I was a good teammate with everyone that I worked with, and I feel accomplished for someone who has autism. My disability never limited me but it was always something that I kept in mind because it was there. 

To anyone who reads this, I want to say one thing. Do not stop working on whatever it is that you want to accomplish. No matter how hard of a path it may seem, no matter how difficult your tasks are, the reward at the end of the tunnel is always worth it. 

Thank you.  

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