5: The good

Am I talking about graduating too much? It’s kind of a big deal and it’s just starting the settle in. For example, the other day I was going to save this file for a random project I wanted to do, but when I look for a place in my documents I realized that I my computer has only been categorized in terms of school (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior year, etc) and work (SimplyWell, freelance, McNair, etc). There was no “personal” or “projects” or “relax, Jacklynn. Seriously.” folders.

So I thought, maybe to get over it–or maybe to dwell on it further–I would do a little retrospective of my college experience: The good, the bad, the ugly.

01 |  The professors. Is it possible that anyone hasn’t heard me say this yet? I absolutely loved our professors at UW. While it took me awhile to adjust to Wyoming, the people, and the climate for the first year, it was easy for me to boast about my professors and my classes. Even though this is coming from a nerd’s point of view, trust me: if you want to learn, they are there to teach and guide you. And if you let them, be your friend. Jacklynn Pham, however, cannot let go of her awe enough to let them (“Jacklynn, you don’t have to call me “Dr.”).

I could go on and on about the fantastic English and art departments, in which I was submerged for most of my three years, but even when I took my general education and Honors program courses…the professors were still amazing. My economics course was riveting, my American popular music course engaging, my Chinese history course fun and interesting.

What more can you really ask for at a school?

02 | The people. I still talk to nearly everyone I met my freshman year at Truman, even though I was only there for a year. Some of them only in passing facebook messages, but I still relentlessly text my closest friends and we’re all planning on going on a summer trip soon! They also all happened to live on the same floor in our dorm…

In Wyoming, I’ll admit, it took longer for me to make friends. For the first few years I just hung out with Evan’s friends when I transferred and kind of felt discouraged from branching out (not literally, of course). However, since making that fateful trip to Europe for my Shakespeare class and meeting new people there, I met their friends. And then I went that spring trip, and then meeting even more friends (we still call each other “canyon people”)…it turns out that I now have some pretty amazing friends. All of them are great people who have the brightest, happiest futures I can imagined and I feel privileged to know them and consider them friends. They are truly lovely people.

Not just my friends, the people where I worked were always so personable. My boss for my work study was probably the nicest boss anyone could ask for. And everyone in the CAC was so sweet.

03 |The cost. Kind of a messy affair, but you can’t deny it. I think every year I would realize I couldn’t afford to go to school even if I only had to pay $1000 and become distraught. But then the benevolent financial aid fairy (usually taking the form of the Honors Program) would swoop in a come to my rescue. And to be inclusive of my entire college experience, at Truman you got your work study award as part of your financial aid package and they actually paid you for your hours worked each month. Thanks!

04 |The freedom. I’m so happy that I went out of state. I’m happy that I got to be independent, not just of my parents, but of everything I was familiar with. I was somewhere where I didn’t know anyone doing something completely new. Frightening, exhilarating, confusing, and fun! You feel like you’re really living your own life and making meaningful decisions (even when sometimes you really aren’t). I got to explore a whole new places with different types of people and I’m so glad I did it. (I was the first one out my siblings to jump off the high-dive, too. And I’m the youngest)

05 | The everything else. Goodness, why did I think I could make a list of just five things? Going on the roof of OP, playing family feud late at night with the boys, celebrating Jeff’s birthday, seeing Demetri Martin, climbing at Vedauvoo, snowboarding, riding bikes at night on the fourth of July, driving north forever and ever to go into an ice-cold lake, seeing Elton John, all the lovely lovely cultural programs performances (especially Allen Toussaint and the King’s Singers), dancing, Shakespeare in London & Italy, canoeing in a lake with two left paddles, getting milkshakes instead of seeing the Tower of London, leaning out my 2-star-hotel window in Italy and feeling the breeze across my face, dancing into the night with my friends, the lovely English department banquet with my favorite people, watching movies, having a graduation bonfire, the Finer Things Club of Laramie meetings (complete with cheese and sparkling grape juice), watching Sarah play at open mic night, talking in coffee shops for hours, mix tapes…a bunch of other things that you would bore outsiders to hear.


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