For as long as I can remember, my dad would say three things to my brother and me in the car:
- Reference Arthur Fonzarelli, aka Fonzie, by making us chant “School is cool.”
- “Always be proud to be Croatian and Azorean.”
- “In X amount of years, you are going to college.”
Every year, over and over, he would continue to repeat the third phrase until the day I started college. By the time I started at Mills, the third phrase changed to: “You better finish college.” Well Dad, I did it.
Starting Mills College in 2013 was surreal. I’m the first female and second person in my family, to graduate from college; no other female Šabić has done it. Now that my undergraduate experience is coming to an end, I have the same surreal feeling. It’s hard to emotionally describe what it’s like to finally achieve what my parents and I both pushed for and desired since before I could walk.
I’ll admit, there have been so many times when I wanted to transfer from this school. Over these past three and a half years, it seems like I have dealt with unnecessary headaches: feeling lonely, frustrated and without a purpose. But if I had to choose colleges all over again, I would still pick Mills. I believe that in life, certain things are meant to happen in order to learn and build our character. No other school could have given me the academic success that I have had at Mills–thanks to both the government and journalism departments.
Most importantly, at times when I felt lonely, my best friend (you know who you are) kept me company. At times when I felt frustrated, my parents were there to listen to me. And at times when I felt I did not have a purpose, The Campanil staff was there to lift me up and support my goal of being a writer; they became my Mills family. I was meant to go to Mills College.
Now after three and a half years, I walk away with a fantastic academic achievement, self-awareness and the confidence to enter the outside world.