Finished!

So today was the last day of my classes at UCLA. Within about a week’s time, I’ll be an official alumni of UCLA. And let me tell you, it feels a little bit crazy. It seems like just yesterday that I first arrived on this huge campus, not knowing where anything was. I felt so small in such a big sea of people. Even though I was overwhelmed at first, I knew that this was God’s plan for me.

And in God’s providence, He put me in the path of some amazing professors and life-changing classes. Honestly, I have been spoiled rotten by the English Department and Faculty. They are so helpful and so sweet, always quick with encouragement or a poignant comment. I feel honored and blessed to be able to sit in their classes week after week, soaking up all their collective wisdom. For me, going to class was always a joy. It is at UCLA that I learned what I am capable of, that my hard work is valued, that I really am gifted in this area. Before, it was an inkling or an afterthought. Now, the Lord has made my way abundantly clear. He has providentially put me at this school, in this program, with these professors for so many many reasons, which I am at a loss for words to explain. All I can do is be thankful and savor the last bits of time left.

I know that I will miss this gorgeous campus, miss the friends that I have made, miss the experience of diving into literature as an undergrad and finding out the nuances of the human condition that I never thought existed. Because the study of literature is, really, the study of people. I’ve learned so much about my own soul and realized that so many writers and poets have gone through the same heartbreaks, anguish, joy that I have. It’s made me feel more connected, more grounded, less alone. Not only do I interact with an individual’s experience, I find that I have access to an entire time period that is completely foreign to me. The explorer in me is perpetually intrigued. My curiosity is never satiated.

I have learned that the study of literature is not the perpetual reading of poetry or knowing all of the grammatical rules. It isn’t about writing massive papers either. Every day, I am inspired by people that came before me, who had the talent to put their emotions into their pens. I am in awe of these words that have survived hundreds and hundreds of years. From manuscripts written by the light of a candle to the screen of my Kindle, it is evident to me that this type of knowledge is contagious. There is nothing like the emotion in literature. Nothing. There is no other medium quite like the written word, which is indeed mightier than the sword.

But I’m not finished with my degree yet. I have to take one final and do one thesis edit. After that… I’m officially officially done. But walking back home after classes today, I began to think about how I have changed. The Lord has done so many amazing things in my life here at UCLA. I am just overwhelmed and thankful. From here? I move to France, apply to graduate school. The future looks like an incredible place to be. I can’t wait to be a part of it all.

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