Time to toss my cap and say goodbye


Brittany Cinderella, Columnist

In December of 2017, my very first college acceptance letter came in the mail, with the words “You’re In!” in bold letters. I remember crying and then laughing, I had feared I wouldn’t make it into college right out of high school. Although I had a decent GPA and lots of experience, I wasn’t the diverse ideal student most colleges wanted. Out of the seven colleges I applied to, I got into all but one. 

The only reason I knew about CWU was from a friend of mine. She had called me one day telling me about a college she was at, that I’d never heard of. When I asked her for the location, she said Ellensburg. I remember searching where Ellensburg was. The only memory I had before visiting the campus was stopping for McDonald’s during a band trip to Idaho. 

Touring the campus, I loved the old but new style of the buildings, the small-town energy and the very friendly people. I had a pros and cons lists for every college I had applied to. For CWU, I had things like having transportation to the west side, a campus size I could easily walk and small class sizes where I would get to know my fellow students.

In March of 2018, I decided to go to CWU with no idea what I would major in or how long I would be there. During orientation, I had the plan to major in business, but was told that given I was interested in NASA, I should get a physics degree. After accepting a five-year physics degree, I met a lot of amazing peers and professors that helped me during my first few years of college.

When COVID was declared a national emergency, the school shut down campus and told us we couldn’t come back until the CDC cleared us. In my time taking online classes, I had one course that met synchronously on Zoom and all of my other professors didn’t hold meetings. Once the mask mandate started, I felt more and more disconnected from my peers, barely knowing anyone in my program and more connected to my dogs. As I grew out of physics, I rekindled my passion for writing, and ended up adding an English major to ease my physics frustration around spring quarter of 2020. 

Since then, I’ve had a much better experience at CWU, with both majors. I’ve learned how to balance two of my passions in one college experience. Do I regret any of it? Not at all. Although I had a lot of stress and confusion as to what I was going to do with my life, I found that college doesn’t determine where I go in life. I learned how to take what I learn in courses with a grain of salt and to focus on how to apply the skills I learn to the real world.

It wasn’t until I started working with The Observer as a copy editor that I realized how much I enjoyed editing and writing work. I now hope to pursue a career in copyediting or technical writing, but would also be interested in physics work in my future. 

On my official transcript, I will be graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in English: Professional and Creative Writing, a Bachelors of Arts in Physics and minors in astronomy and math. I owe everything about my college experience to my family for supporting me through every step of the way. 

To my peers, my professors, the CWU faculty and the entire Observer staff, thank you for making my time at CWU so memorable.

Go Wildcats.