three college girls as freshmen and seniors

It’s been a long, fun journey from freshmen to seniors.

As the days continue to tick down and boxes are checked on my graduation checklist, it’s beginning to seem daunting that I’m really going to be thrust out into the real world after switching my tassel at commencement.

It’s not that I’m afraid of where I’m going….rather, I think it’s that I’m afraid of what I’m leaving behind.

Winona has been such a loving and exciting home to me for the past four years, a place where I’ve made the best of friends, met the best of professors, and expanded my horizons beyond what I ever thought possible. I’m afraid to leave that behind, to lose ties, to say goodbye to a home that treated me well.

At the same time, that fear is comforting, because fear of leaving means that I chose a really amazing school for me. Apprehension about leaving my academic career behind means that I’ve learned so much, and anxiety about missing people means that I’ve made true friendships that have grown to be a part of my heart.

I don’t think I can thank any one person for that.

I thank the town, the teachers along the way, the people who supported me, the beauty of the bluffs, and the experiences that have made my time at Winona truly the time of my life.

Thanks for following me through my journey at Winona State University, and cheers to the years to come.

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Leah Dobihal

Leah graduated in 2015 with BA degrees in English and Spanish as well as a minor in Global Studies. She is originally from Lino Lake, MN but moved to Australia soon after graduation. Her true passion in life is travel–meeting new people, discovering new places–that’s what really feeds her soul. When she's not (or rather, don’t have the money to go) traveling, Leah loves reading, hiking, knitting and spending time with friends and family.