Today I feel blessed to be where I am. Last night I had dinner with two amazing families that I baby-sat for two summers ago. We were at my favorite local restaurants in town, and after dinner I went for a cup of coffee at my favorite downtown coffee house. It was a warm night, I was feeling sentimental, and of course I was feeling cute—warm weather means dresses for me. I thought, This is the nicest I’ve felt in awhile.

I wasn’t laughing myself into an ab workout like I did this weekend with my friends, and I wasn’t giving a sigh of relief to be one more school project closer to graduation. I was just there, in a nice moment. Partially I was excited to be downtown Barrington—downtown Chicago—again with the lights and the noise and the people. The other part of me was sad to be leaving Bowling Green’s quietly lit downtown, the only noise coming from the few people sitting outside 440 Main and Spencer’s.

That’s the right sentiment when growing up—appreciate where you’ve been, but be excited for where you’re going.

I’m lucky to have spent my last four years close to home and close to friends. Western Kentucky University might not be Oxford, but it’s a beautiful campus with Beatle-singing-bells and 100 cherry trees lining the down-hill path that bloom white at the first sign of spring weather. I’ve met some amazing people here and have taken some great classes. And it upsets when I think that I have only have two days before graduation. Then WKU is a 2007-2011 reference on my resume instead of 2007–present.

For right now I’m here, taking a break on my last essay on the eighth floor of the library, looking out the window at the Appalachian foothills of Kentucky and the image of Big Red waving at me from the campus water tower.

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