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PARTING SHOT: Transfer student triumphs

Walking into the University as a transfer student is hard. It’s hard. It doesn’t matter how bubbly you are, how attractive you are (“So, you think you’re really pretty?”), how smart you are or how friendly you are. It will always be hard. I am a second semester fourth year and, I’ll be honest with you, I’m still hash-tagging #transferproblems.

You’ll read a lot of parting words from Cavalier Daily editors about how they have been on the paper since their first day of their first year here at Thomas Jefferson’s University. That’s super awesome — I would never take that away from them. However, my path was different, and I am so happy that I got to take it because I have grown into a more passionate and fulfilled writer and student.

I walked into The Cavalier Daily office scared out of my mind. Immediately, Rachel Lim and Caroline Gecker calmed my fears and I took on my first A&E (then Tableau) article on J.K. Rowling’s “Pottermore.” The rush and excitement I felt as I walked out of the MAC and began my article was addicting. I couldn’t stop; so I didn’t. It felt bigger than any assignment I had ever done before; it felt right. This was the beginning of my journey of self-expression, of embracing what it truly means to be a Wahoo, to be myself.

As I felt more and more comfortable letting myself go in my writing, I started to loosen up, open myself to the mind-boggling experiences Charlottesville has to offer. I began to speak up during meetings, introducing my favorite TLC and Bravo shows unapologetically — even feeling free to blurt out my love for all things sci-fi. To my surprise, The Cavalier Daily took me for who I am, though they did censor the slightly graphic beginning to my Dave Matthews article. Which, to be honest, I still am bitter about. In fact, I’ll just go ahead and reproduce it here:

“Oh, Dave how I love you” — is what everyone wants to say after finishing this album…or when they wake up next to the rock star. He’s old but close your eyes and let him sing to you — you couldn’t resist him either.”

Ok, now that the world could read that opening, I feel like The Cavalier Daily has truly expressed who I am — a dash-loving, Star Wars watching, Honey Boo Boo critic who would really like to get up close and personal with Dave Matthews, critics be damned.

Transferring has been one of the hardest and most important transitions in my life. For a girl who has always prided herself on her confidence and bold personality, I had to embrace my own vulnerability. I had to give parts of myself in order to have a fulfilling experience here at the University. The Cavalier Daily let me do this and for that I will always be grateful. Thank you to the caring friends who supported me in the happiest and hardest of times. Thank you to the A&E editors before me and to my co-editor, Conor, for taking me for who I am. Thank you to my wonderful section writers for laughing both with and at me, when appropriate (yes, I am referring to the Halloween costume). And thank you, current Managing Board, for keeping my Dave Matthews innuendo.

To all you transfers out there, I know you don’t get shout-outs very often, but you are Wahoos and you matter just as much as the student who ate at O-Hill everyday. Love this place with all you have; streak the Lawn often, eat Little Johns at 4am, and for god’s sake go see a Charlottesville concert and eat cheese at Friday’s at Five. You may have had one less year, but being a Wahoo isn’t measured in days, trust me.

Katie Cole was The Cavalier Daily’s 124th Arts and Entertainment Editor.