Tonight I clicked back through a few of my Facebook photos, and I found this one of me. This was taken by my friend Ryan in the Jardin de Luxembourg on our very first day in Paris, in January 2010. I remember that day perfectly. A cold winter morning, I was a mix of emotions. I was on edge, trying to make a good first impression with people I had just met and with whom I was expected to spend the next four months. I felt excited– I was finally doing something big and exciting in my life. I had accomplished one of my biggest goals; studying abroad, I was thousands on miles away from home, completely alone, for the very first time. But mostly I remember how happy I felt. This was the start of a new adventure for me. Little did I know, this adventure would change and influence my life. I can’t help but to smile when I look at this young woman. I am proud of how much she has accomplished independently, on her own. I am proud of how much she has changed and grown into an amazing young woman since this day, and this semester abroad. But most of all I am proud to have been that girl. I am proud to be this young woman today. And just like she was starting a new adventure in France, I am about to start a new adventure as I journey into post-grad life. And hopefully, this new journey will begin just as this photo did— in France.



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