As U of A students, we all share the same love for our school and all of us have a special story to tell that makes each person unique. That unique person? Well, that unique person shines. I love searching for that one thing that connects me to other people, separates individuals from everyone else, and that one thing that empowers others to live life like an adventure. We all have it in us to create our own story and be successful at what we do. And failure? Failure is the next stepping-stone to achieving our dreams.
I am so excited to show you all of the incredible individuals I have been fortunate enough to meet. All of these seniors have chosen their own path, opened themselves up to new possibilities, rose to the challenges they faced, and aimed only for success. Here are all of their stories four years later…
“As my undergraduate career comes to an end I have nothing to do but be thankful for all of the amazing memories and people that have come through my life. This has no doubt been the best chapter and it has been filled with an amplitude of personal growth. I have so much to be thankful for and take with me in my future. College is one of the best experiences anyone can have, because it gives you space to grow and time to figure out who you want to become.”- Erin
“When I first came to UA, I had no idea how much it would change my life. Each day here I feel as though I learn something new: I meet new friends and I experience new things – Each day here, I feel at home. It’s a home that is constantly changing, and yet the feeling remains the same. The University of Arizona is a part of me. Being a Wildcat is who I am. And no matter where I go in the future or what I accomplish, I will carry these last four years with me in my heart forever.”- Robbie
“It’s hard to believe that graduation is less than 20 days away! The 18 year old me that came here 4 years ago from Texas, not knowing anyone else, seems like a completely different person. I’ve had so many great experiences at my time here and met so many fantastic people. I feel like I’ve known some of my newer friends for my entire life and I know that we’ll be friends for a long time. I am lucky to be a wildcat. I’ll miss it all when I’m gone, but I will always be doing one thing: Bearing down.”- Elena
“The University of Arizona has played a large part of shaping who I am today. Between the various academic and philanthropic opportunities, the wise and generous professors, and the wonderful friends I’ve made, I’ve learned more than I could ever express. My gratitude for the past four humbling and adventurous years is monumental. I can’t wait to be a Wildcat for Life.”- Valerie
“It was beautiful sunny day at the University of Arizona. I was biking to class when I witnessed a large number of graduates battling to have their senior portraits taken in front of Old Main. It was that image that made me realize that we are a little over two weeks before I will be walking up the podium to accept my degree in front of my proud family members. Four years of hard work, sleep deprivation, dedication, and sacrifice will be celebrated. I will soon be called a UA alumni. I will always remember my first day of school at the University of Arizona as I walked through those red brick buildings trying to locate my next classroom. That moment when I walked in the centennial hall overwhelmed by the 800 students taking the same MIS 111 course. I will never forget those long hours waiting outside McKale hoping to get the best seats to see the Arizona Wildcats win another home game and those late night highland market visits. I will always remember those friendships I’ve built and the people who have supported me through my college career. That memorable semester when I thought taking 17 school units, being an intern and working 25 hours a week was a good idea. I also won’t forget those late nights at the library struggling to locate a vacant study room/desk on finals week. It’s a bittersweet feeling to say that this chapter will soon be closed. Now it’s the time to prove to myself that all my hard work has prepared me to become the best I can. These four years have taught me many things but I will never forget to always be humble, keep an open mind to learn new things and most importantly to pass this knowledge on to others. I will always remember to bear down through life as a proud Arizona Wildcat.”- Angel
“Freshman year I wrote a letter to myself that said, “During college I want to make life long best friends, explore a new world, grow as a person, and take on new experiences. I want to look back and say college was the best four years of my life with the most amazing new family and home.” I can truly say that the UA has given me everything I wanted and more. I never thought I would be sad about school ending, but I’m truly going to miss walking through the ASUA office, walking backwards and giving tours, wearing my chain gang rugby on Tuesday’s, but most of all, all the amazing people I have met on my journey. Graduation is around the corner but I will always be a wildcat for life! BEAR DOWN.”- Jocelin
“Before coming to the University of Arizona, everyone always said college would be the best four years of my life, but what did that mean exactly? Would it be like the movies? As my time here comes to a close I’m beginning to see exactly what they meant. Yes, it would be like the movies, but there is so much that the movies don’t tell you, so much that my time here has taught me that I will never be able to completely explain. Every all-nighter spent in the library, watching the sun go down and then come up from the same window, every trip through the McDonald’s drive thru whether it be late at night for coffee, or in the morning for large Poweraids, every late night or early morning memory have created an unexplainable and irreplaceable experience that I will never be able to say I don’t miss. I have met the most amazing people, established lifelong friendships, formed stories that I will tell my children, and more importantly, my best friends’ children that were right there along side of me. I learned what it is like to stay up all night long studying for an exam and then somehow make it to a 6am swim, bike, and run practice with the TriCats, exactly where and when I can park for free and not receive a ticket, and what it feels like to walk onto a college campus and immediately feel at home. The University of Arizona will always hold a special place in my heart, and the memories and experiences that I take with me will stay with me for a lifetime. As always: Bear Down.”- Madi
“I like Turtles”- Jen
“You never really believe people when they say college will be the best four years of your life and to enjoy every second of it because it will go by fast, but man oh man, were they right. These past few years have been extraordinary. The friends I made in college have become my family. The memories we have created will forever stay in my heart and I will cherish every second spent with them. I know that these friends will stay in my life forever. But now the time has come to close this chapter, and to move onto new opportunities. I am so grateful to have attended such an amazing university that I continue to fall in love with every single day. In a few weeks I will be a U of A graduate, and I could not be more proud. I am a Wildcat for life.”- Adi
“I never dreamed I could love the University of Arizona as much as I do. This place has given me my best friends, my most incredible memories and the most wonderful opportunities of my entire life. The spirit and excitement of this campus warms my heart every single day and I have enjoyed every moment I have been here. When I leave here in May, I’ll not only be leaving an amazing University, I’ll be leaving my home.”- Cecilia
“In just a few short weeks I will officially become an alumnus of a place I call home. In the last four years I have created a family – bound by memories, emotions and love that surpasses a standard “friendship”. Thinking about next year makes my heart hurt. I will be moving to a new state, forced to make a new family and create a new home. It will not be easy, but my greatest fear is being forgotten by the ones I love most. I don’t just want to become a memory. The only element of solace I can find is that I have endured this with friends who have already graduated. But this time I will be on the other end – leaving those I love and being launched into a new environment. I am excited for my move as it has always been a dream, but fear is making it extremely difficult to see past the imminent end. University of Arizona, you have been everything I could have imagined and more for a college/home and I know that I will always be a Wildcat For Life. Bear Down.”- Bryan
“As Mexican-American first generation college student, a university education was almost unimaginable. My grandmother, who was born and raised in Sonora, Mexico, never made it past middle school, and my mother never finished high school. My family immigrated to the United States to live the American dream; I have seen my family live paycheck to paycheck, and work in physically demanding jobs. Their struggles have taught me the value of education, and I knew that I needed to better not only my life but also my family’s life by going to college. I strove to succeed academically and received an academic scholarship that paid for my education at The University of Arizona. Life as a first generation student at a big university was extremely challenging. One of the hardest challenges I faced during my first year was the lack of family support. Most of my family did not realize the hard work and long hours that a full-time college students has to dedicate to school. However, after my family saw how much I loved studying Middle Eastern and North African Studies and Latin American Studies they knew that UA was exactly where I truly needed to be. My most rewarding experience in college was being able to study abroad in Istanbul, Turkey for four months in the summer of 2013 during the Gezi Park political uprising. Being able to experience a moment in history that will forever be studied was truly an honor. Also, being able to work for different departments on campus, and getting to know so many wonderful people that have held my hand through thick and thin. Overall, my time here at The University of Arizona has been difficult, but yet extremely rewarding and exhilarating. As I finish up my last semester of my undergraduate career I have explored many options, and have decided accept an offer within Teach for America for two years in Phoenix, Arizona. Without those difficult times where I’ve wanted to drop out of college so bad I wouldn’t be so close to being the first college graduate in my family. I am forever grateful to The University of Arizona for letting me be a part of the Wildcat Family, and for teaching me what it means to BEAR DOWN!”- Valeria
This year has been amazing. If I did it over again I would not want a single thing to change. Meeting each person and getting to know every student’s story was the best part of this semester. This has been a huge semester for me and I can’t believe I am saying goodbye to so many close friends. I can’t wait to see everyone again at homecoming this year as a senior.