College was a time-consuming, eye-opening, incredible experience. These last four years have been filled with non-stop homework assignments, papers, tests to study for, and pre- and post-labs to complete. I lost many nights of valuable sleep and made caffeine the main component of my diet so much that it could have been its own food group. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Leaving for college was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken. During my senior year of high school, I never thought that I’d be going away for college; I figured I’d end up at a 2-year community college and then transfer to a local state school. ENC made it possible for me to come here my freshman year, and every year since then. Being able to come here and succeed in many was the biggest testament to good faith: both personally and academically.

Since arriving, one of the greatest blessings for me has been the multitude of supportive and encouraging professors from both my departments; my biggest influence on this campus came from Assistant Professor of Biology Jonathan Twining.

Twining has been my advisor since freshman year, but we first met sophomore year. I had my first major biology-related class with him: Intro to Ecology & Diversity. Since then, Twining has not only been a great professor, he’s been a friend, a mentor, and a role model. Having a professor that knows your heart, your passions, and your dreams, and encourages you to always reach for the moon, has been so important to my academic and personal growth. It’s been nothing short of a blessing to come to an institution and have professors who care so much for their students.

Now, it’s time to graduate and take all I’ve learned to a new place. No matter where life takes me, I’ll always be determined to do better and be better, regardless of what I’m facing. I’ve come so far in the last four years and I know this is just the beginning.