When I was back in high school, college was seen as this linear, American dream. College. Graduation. Job. Husband. Kids. I was expected to keep good grades, meet new people. Have fun, but know that I’m going to have to have some sort of plan to find a job. I thought the purpose of college was just to get out with a degree, just to make my family happy. I thought I would just get done with school and I wouldn’t change it all. I would be the same person. Your biggest challenge in college is finding out who you are. This is a diverse community with a bunch of people who are doing amazing things. Exploration is the backbone of this school. You’re going to find out what sparks your curiosity. Despite the ups and downs, the challenges, the late nights, that actually gives me confidence to know that I’m going to come out of this successful, and I know it’s because ASU gave me that opportunity. ASU has done a tremendous job exposing me to different classes, to different internships. All these opportunities were so accessible to me and so available to me that I was intrigued by them, and it’s taught me how to learn. So I could have graduated in two and a half, but I added a double major to see where my options to take me. How do you take advantage of this deep immersion into a learning environment to create a better life for yourself, for your family? Begin thinking about yourself as a lifelong learner. We’re not just trying to produce an engineer, or a scientist, or an artist, or a writer. You may be all of those things and then some. We’re trying to produce a master learner. That means then if you’re capable of learning anything, you’re not going to be afraid of thing, and you’re going to have many more options in whatever you do after you graduate. If I could have my high school self here and tell her all of the things that I’ve learned, I would tell her to stop being so afraid of everything. If I continue to stay positive, I can conquer any problems. Not only can I be happy in the future, but I can be happy at this moment. ASU has given me an amazing opportunity and confidence. I am nowhere near the same person I was when I first came in. No matter what’s out there in the world, I’m ready to take it on. The reality of what’s waiting for me at the end of this is something that I love to do.