Howarts students through hats in air

We did it–hats off to us, Class of 2015!

For the last 5 years of my life, Winona has been my home, and to be honest, I have no idea how I’m supposed to address moving on from here, but here goes nothing! Graduation is more than just getting a degree; it’s ending a huge, important chunk of your life.

Yes, I’ve taken over 150 credits of classes and I finally will get to walk across the stage and call myself a college grad, but it’s so much more than that, and that’s already so incredible!

When I first came to college, I had no idea that I would be where I am today, or that I would have made the friends I have, or experienced what I have. The last 5 years have molded me into a person I could not be more proud of.

Winona is where I found myself and where I was able to authentically be me for the first time. It’s where I first came out of the closet thanks to the family I made with Full Spectrum – something I will cherish for the rest of my life. It’s where I first fell in love with an amazing guy and eventually had my first heartbreak. It’s where I learned that I have a voice and discovered it’s ability to change the world.

Winona is where I found my RunnerUp crew with whom I got to laugh every week. It’s where I learned what stress really is and it’s where I discovered my passion. It’s where I met friends who I can’t imagine calling anything but family. It’s where my love for music grew more than I ever thought it could. It’s where I made mistakes both small and large and realized that I can learn from all of them.

On May 8, 2015, I will walk across that stage and enter the real world; the actual real world (you know, the one you thought you were entering after high school?), and I could not be more excited to see what comes next. All my hard work has paid off and I finally get to celebrate that.

The best part about graduation, besides getting a degree, is that now I have 5 years of laughs, smiles, tears, excitement, and love that I get to look back on and remember forever.

I wouldn’t change a single day of the experience I had at WSU and I am so thrilled for the next chapter in the extraordinary novel that is my life.

Congratulations WSU class of 2015 and good luck! WE DID IT!

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Garrett Bowling

Garrett graduated in 2015 with a BS in Vocal Music Education. He is originally from Eagan, MN and his interests include Netflix, social activism and Josh Hutcherson.

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