Departure: such sweet sorrow

I hate this place. I love this place. When I first arrived here, I wanted to go back home, but now that I am preparing to depart, I am hesitant to leave.

Here I stand on the slippery brim of the cup of graduation with no choice but to fall in. Of course, I should be pleased to swim in the joyous waters – since the purpose of attending college is to graduate – but I find myself entrenched in bittersweet emotions.

Subtracting a few lazy summers, it took four and a half years filled with early mornings, dreadful afternoons and frustrating nights. And some of the opposite. In this time span, I’ve experienced a few things. I have gained a great amount of maturity, sacrificed personal time and endured the deaths of close family members. I have absorbed most of the words I heard along my way, whether encouraging or discouraging, and have deciphered them all and applied them respectively.

I have been a student-athlete and oftentimes, an athlete-student. Several times I asked myself whether I was majoring in journalism or tennis because it was hard to determine where I devoted most of my time and mind. My tennis years taught me determination, dedication and drive. All of which were transferable into precious life skills.

I have appreciated my good professors and excused the bad few. I can sincerely recall that all of my journalism professors have imprinted valuable lessons in my memory. Each of them was approachable and told me things I needed to hear, even when I did not want to hear them. This is my public expression of gratitude to each of my professors.

I don’t want to go. I can’t wait to leave. Now I am leaving what many people told me would be the best years of my life. For me, college has been a magnificent blend of things I love, things I hate and other things that I offer no emotional attachment. And through it all, I would not trade my experiences here at FAMU with anything short of a life of guaranteed happiness.

Dia Collins, 22, is a graduating senior broadcast journalism student from Birmingham, Ala. She can be reached at