The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

CADY: Finding Me


As I watch the days pass and the hours tick by before graduation, I feel a sense of dread and sweetness and anticipatory nostalgia. I think so much about the times I have spent wasting the hours away in the newsroom or the nights dancing in the kitchen with my friends or the mornings I rubbed my tired eyes and kept writing because I was on deadline for one thing or another. All of these moments are equally drenched in something special and equally hard to move on from; all of these moments were equally unimaginable to the 18-year-old version of myself. 

As I watch these days pass and the hours tick by at what seems to be the speed of light, I remember what it felt like to wish them away; I remember what it felt like to want nothing more than for the day to end so that I could get into bed and forget the lonely oblivion I had sunk into. Most of all, I remember what it felt like to accept that college was something I would just have to get through, not something that I could ever love or something that I would ever miss. 

When you’re young, you think you know everything. And –  you especially think that you know everything about yourself. 

It was about two weeks into college – at the University of Missouri – that I had deemed myself “not a college person.” While this sentiment was quite premature, it held true for the next four semesters. I remember doing what felt like a death march to the student union at Mizzou and watching girls walk by in groups of friends, coffees in hand and with smile plastered faces; not only did I envy them, but I resented them. I felt a pit in my stomach as I felt like that would never be me. I had friends in high school, I had people that I knew loved and cared about me, but I did not feel like I belonged there in any sense. 

Once I transferred, I soon realized that I did not feel like I belonged at Marquette either. And at this point, I started to believe that the problem must be me. 

I had a saint of a roommate, a wonderful set of opportunities laid before me and all of the support in the universe backing me. But still, college wasn’t going to be for me. I spent more time just trying to peel myself out of bed and tending to my tear-stained cheeks than I did anything else. However, I did what I was supposed to. I joined a few clubs and organizations that seemed up my alley, I went out of my way to try and make friends and I worked hard in my classes. 

Still, the key wasn’t turning in the door. I was not happy. 

All at once, everything changed. My world turned on its head when the relationship I had considered my only constant from high school into college ended in the worst imaginable way. It was then that I really had a “make or break” moment in front of me: I could either take this newfound life and hold it with both hands, or I could turn away and continue to trudge through the sadness slush I had found my feet more than wet with. Luckily, I did not choose the latter. 

The truth of the matter is, I did not feel like I belonged anywhere because I did not even belong to myself. 

Once I started making decisions for me and not the approval of other people – especially one person who was the farthest thing from my biggest cheerleader – I realized that I actually still did have that little girl living inside of me. The one who was bright eyed and bushy tailed and full of starry-eyed ambition. I had lost sight of her a little bit, but she was still very much alive. 

So, I made the college experience my own. I wrote like I was running out of time, I made friends who I cry (happy tears) over and I made my wildest dreams a reality. I will step away from Marquette and onto other things, but I will never forget the way it made me feel. You never forget the way things make you feel. 

I will never forget the way it helped pave a path to me finding myself or the friends and the love that it gave me. I will never agonize over the fact that I must leave it when it helped me find me. 

This story was written by Grace Cady. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Grace Cady
Grace Cady, Managing Editor of the Marquette Journal
Grace Cady is a senior at Marquette University from Delafield, Wisconsin. She is majoring in journalism and political science. This year she will be the managing editor of the Journal. Outside of the Wire, Grace likes to read, write creatively, watch movies and spend time with friends & family. Prior to this year, she served as the executive opinions editor at the Wire and has held intern positions at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Magazine and the National Federation of Federal Employees in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Grace is part of the O'Brien Investigative Fellowship program this year alongside Julia Abuzzahab.

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