Closing Time

I’ve been putting off writing this post because I’ve never been good with goodbyes (who is, really?) and I’ve always had a hard time embracing change. Not to mention how hard it is to follow the farewells of my two phenomenal co-editors, BoobsRadley and HeroineAddict. But on my final day as an undergraduate student, I’ll have to give it a try.

There is a certain energy and spirit at JMU that is unlike any you can find anywhere else. Positivity encompasses the air, smiles are found from strangers walking by, and doors are held open for everyone. These past four years have been filled with opportunities and experiences that have helped me grow more than I could ever imagine. The service and values that JMU has instilled in me has made me a better person, and for that I am forever grateful.

While I can without a doubt say I found my place at JMU, I can also confidently say I found my feminist identity. Being a blogger and an editor for ShoutOut has opened my eyes to the injustices of this world, many of which are committed at this very institution. By surrounding myself with these people who were committed to giving a voice to the marginalized, I recognized the ability I held to advocate for equality by doing what I do best: writing.

I never considered myself a feminist before ShoutOut because I simply didn’t think I knew enough about it. But the reality is that anyone who believes in the equality of all intersections is a feminist. And the best part about being a feminist is that it’s not a set-in-stone role. Feminism means something different to every person who chooses to identify with it, and it will never stop providing you with challenges for growth.

And with that, a few thank you’s are in order.

Thank you to this semester’s bloggers. Our group was diverse in so many ways, which helped introduce me to topics of feminism I have never even considered, and in turn challenged my beliefs. You all are some incredibly bright individuals and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of you.

Thank you to the two co-editors who have become my best feminist pals. I admire both of you for your hard-work and dedication to the feminist community. I could not imagine going through this experience with anyone else by my side. You two are more ready for the future than you may think, and I hope you know that I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way.

Thank you to ShoutOut’s faithful advisors, who never failed to be there for us at a moment’s notice. Your commitment to this blog is what has helped its growth over time, and I can’t wait to see you lead the next set of bloggers to help further its success.

Thank you to everyone who has helped make ShoutOut what it is today.

Thank you to all of my professors who have worked tirelessly to ensure my success. Your devotion to your students does not go unnoticed, and you have undoubtedly equipped us with all the tools we need for success.

A thank you is also in order for anyone who has ever interacted with me at this university. Whether it was a simple hello or an in-depth conversation, the people of Madison have made me into the person I am today.

And finally, thank you to the readers. The fact that you all have taken the time out of your days to read something that I’ve written means the world to me. Your comments and support encourage me to continue doing what I do.

These past four years at James Madison University have filled me with a sense of purpose and passion for life that I will continue on with me wherever I end up next. I fully embrace my role as a feminist and will never stop fighting for what I believe is right. I am happy to say I have found my feminist community here at JMU, and I will carry its values close to my heart as leave to enter a new one.

In the words of Semisonic, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”

This is SassyYazzy, signing off.

Featured Image Source: Send me adrift, Flickr

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