By Chelsea Satkowiak
May 4, 2012
After five intense years of late-night study sessions, grueling exams, long meetings and lessons I never thought I would understand, I finally made it to the end. Tomorrow, I will march proudly across the stage at Michigan State’s Breslin Center and graduate with my Bachelor’s degree.
Even though five years seem like a significant amount of time, I still find it hard to believe that so much has changed in my life since I began college. It feels like just yesterday I was moving into my first dorm room, getting ready to study biology in hopes of becoming a doctor one day. Now this chapter of my life is coming to an end, and I will be the first to admit that you do not want me to be your doctor, unless you don’t mind one that cringes at the site of needles and blood. Instead of going into the medical field, I chose to pursue an education that combined my interest in politics and passion for communication. 134 credits and many hours of schoolwork later, I am confident that studying public administration, public policy and public relations was the best decision I could have made.
Although I am proud of my academic achievements, the most valuable knowledge and skills I gained came from experiences outside of the classroom. I was involved with the Residence Halls Association, MSU’s on-campus student government, for four years and Alternative Spartan Breaks, an organization that sends students across the western hemisphere to engage in service learning. Because of the leadership positions I held in these organizations, I was prepared to expand my work experience further in professional settings. Therefore, I served as a communication intern at Capital Area Michigan Works!, a public affairs intern at the Dow Chemical Company and a student practitioner at Martin Waymire Advocacy Communications. Each of these internships have helped shape me into the student I am today, one that is ready and eager to begin a successful career!
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the next chapter of my life, and now I must start preparing for my next adventure. In three short weeks, I will be packing my bags for Washington, DC, a move I would have never imagined even a few months ago. I will be living on Capitol Hill and participating in a public service internship until the middle of August. Although I must leave everything I know behind, I’m looking forward to experiencing life in a different city, meeting new people and strengthening the skill set I gained in college.
Someone once told me that it’s good when you get that nervous, stomach-tied-in-knots feeling because it means you’re growing as a person from the situation. Being as I already have those feelings three weeks before even leaving, I don’t believe growing from this experience will be an issue! I’m really going to miss my family, the MSU community and the Martin Waymire team, but I’m definitely looking forward to what the future has in store for me. Here’s to a new adventure and hopefully not getting lost on the metro!