I came to Grand Junction 5 years ago to attend school at Colorado Mesa University (CMU). I came in on a dance scholarship, but little did I know; I had another passion waiting for me in the Health and Wellness field. As it is getting dangerously close to my graduation date (May 13th), I felt like this was a good time to look back and reflect on the good ol’ college experience I have had at CMU.
Coming in as a freshman, leaving my family at home, and starting a brand new life was scary, but I was ready to take the next step towards my future. My first year of college went by in the blink of an eye; living in a dorm on campus, having to do my own laundry (I’m sure my mom was most thrilled about this), living with a roommate, eating cafeteria food, and of course, attending an occasional party here and there. It was a huge adjustment, but I was excited to see what the future had in store.
My sophomore year was a fun one. The dance department hired a new professor, Megan, and we clicked right away. She soon became my “mom” away from home, which I learned was necessary through all the stress that came with being a college student. I moved into an on-campus apartment, I had my own kitchen so I could ditch the cafeteria food J, and I joined the dance team. I also decided to enroll in a Kinesiology class called, “Applications of Physical Fitness and Exercise Prescription.” This was the class that inspired me to add my second major, Kinesiology with a concentration in Fitness and Health Promotion.
My junior year was interesting, to say the least. I moved off campus, which I was stoked about, but the house I moved into was not exactly what I was expecting. A rather unprofessional landlord, a broken toilet, black widow spiders in the basement, and six gas leaks later, I reconsidered going back to the easy life on campus. Despite all of the commotion, I did have many positive events occur that year. I was accepted into the dance “honors” program, a dance piece I was dancing a lot, and I was maintaining good grades. This was the year I decided to “officially” add my second major, Kinesiology. I knew this would keep me in school an extra year, but I felt like it was the right decision to make.
My (first) senior year I moved into a much more suitable household, with some friends I had made throughout the past few years. I enrolled in a lot of credits, worked, and juggled a social life, but honestly, it was well worth the lack of sleep and the occasional breakdown. That year I had a major shift in my future interests- I discovered that I had a strong passion for educating youth on how to live a healthier lifestyle, starting at a younger age.
My (second) senior year has really flown by. I feel much more prepared to go out into the “real world, ” and that wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance of my professors, and parents who have had endless support for me from the beginning. I have held two internships this semester that have been great experiences for me. Coming to the Health Department has easily turned into one of my favorite parts about my day. I was a little nervous for my internships at first because I had no idea what to expect. Mary, my supervisor, alongside the rest of the Health Promotions team quickly made me feel welcome, and for that, I am very grateful.
In spite of all the chaos that has erupted over the past 5 years, I’ve learned it is important to remain positive. It is far too easy to get caught up in the lack of time, negative incidents, and overall exhaustion that comes with being a college student, but the good times and happy memories are what I want to remember. This college experience doesn’t last forever, and I’ve managed to find ways to dance around all of the hard times and make light of hectic situations. CMU gave me so much more than I could have asked for, and I am so grateful for the endless amounts of opportunities that were presented to me. As sad as I am to be leaving in a few short weeks, I am thrilled for what the future holds. Grand Junction will always hold a special place in my heart.