When I got to Binghamton University, I thought I had my whole life planned out. I had dreamed of being a nurse since I was a freshman in high school. That is, until I took my first nursing class and hated it.

Accepting that I hated that class and and inadvertently giving up on my dream was the hardest part. I now had to completely switch gears and find another career that called my name, which scared me the most. However, I realized I could change my career path to become a doctor instead, so I declared my major in biology. I have loved science ever since I was a little girl, and I was excited about the possibilities this new change would bring me.

The classes got harder, and the joy of becoming a doctor was sucked out of me completely by my good friend, organic chemistry, whom I had the pleasure of meeting my sophomore year. Organic chemistry was quite literally the death of me. Even with tutoring and applying myself, I still couldn’t muster more than a 60 on an exam. I had the worst imposter syndrome then. I thought to myself, “Well, if I can’t make a benzene ring, what makes me think I’ll be a doctor?” Every failed test I got from that class made me question everything I had done to get here. But every time I had that thought, I heard my mom’s voice saying, “Don’t give up on your dreams.” So I didn’t. And I stuck it out.

In the second semester of my junior year, I ran into yet another difficult biology class. I was showing up to office hours, applying myself and reading my textbook and notes every single night after school. I still couldn’t get more than a 50 on exams, which was a complete shock to me considering all the work I was putting in. I was devastated, burned out and confused. By then, the thought of being a doctor scared me more than it excited me. I was scared shitless to tell my parents because I didn’t want them to see me as a failure.

I went to Florida with my mom for spring break, and I remember telling her how terrified I was that I was going to fail this class. She then asked me, “Are you happy? Is everything okay?” And then everything came out — my grades, how I was feeling about becoming a doctor, the whole nine yards. She comforted me and told me it was okay for me to not be pre-med anymore, which felt like the elephant of impending doom being being lifted off my chest. I sat there in confusion and thought about what career I would be pursuing since I would no longer be a physician. And then I discovered media journalism.

Before my Florida trip, my roommate-turned-best friend, Nicolette, had gotten me to join HerCampus, a small women-centric magazine whose chapter had been shut down on our campus because of COVID-19. I honestly don’t know how she convinced me, because I really hated anything having to do with writing. However, when I wrote my first article, that all changed, as I fell head over heels for what I was doing. I went on to apply for the Marketing and PR Director position for them (which I got), and at the end of the semester, I discovered Pipe Dream was looking to expand its digital team. I lunged at that opportunity. Was I sure where it would take me? No, not at all. But did it make me optimistic about my future? Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

And that brings me here. As a Digital Editor, my role is full of changes. From adjusting the social media post schedule to accommodate breaking news to waking up earlier before my classes to update the site, I had to make a lot of changes to my daily routine to make this position work, and it did (I think). I look back and thank my past self for taking a risk and applying. I’m beyond grateful for the people I’ve met and the knowledge I’ve gained through being a digital editor. All because I decided to let go of being pre-med. And that’s okay.

Change is a lot. A lot of unknowns — good, bad or indifferent. Change terrifies me, but to achieve what I want, change needs to happen. Looking back, I have changed so much during my time at BU, and I’m pretty impressed with the outcome. I’m now more inclined to take risks and say yes instead of no. I let go of things that no longer made me happy. All I’m saying is that change is good, and if it starts out not-so-great, don’t be afraid to make another change to try and make your situation better. Because it does get better. It does. Just give it some time, and in the end, you’ll turn out just fine.

Mom and Dad: I don’t ever say this enough, but I am so beyond grateful for both of you. You’ve provided me with so much support and unconditional love throughout my life. Thank you for always being there for me and believing in me when I don’t believe in myself. I’m blessed to have such amazing parents like you. Thanks for teaching me everything I know. I love and appreciate you both so much more than words could ever say.

Risa: My little, my everything — you bring so much light and joy into my life. To say that I’m sad to leave you would be an understatement. The past year with you has been one of the best — we traveled, saw Harry Styles, listened to Taylor Swift’s entire discography and so much more. While I’m sad to be going, I know you’ll take good care of Amanda and the rest of the tree. Mom loves you so freaking much, and I could not have asked for a better little. Have the best time in Prague, and please send me all the pictures!

Surah: My literal day 1 and delulu partner, I’m so lucky to have met you on the first day of freshman year. Since then, we’ve been on the same wavelength 24/7, and no one can match my energy as well as you. I wouldn’t want to be a hater of anyone else. There’s been a lot of change these past four years, but I’m glad that you’ve been a constant in my life in terms of the support and unconditional love you’ve shown me, and I could not be more grateful for our friendship. I will love you til the end of time.

Nicolette: My semi-random roommate success story, my rock, my person, my best friend, my partner in crime — man, I don’t know how I lived so long without you. You’ve stuck with me through my highest highs and lowest lows. You call me out on my shit and keep me safe from all the foods I’m allergic to. You made my college career and life outside of college so much better. Thanks for introducing me to Pipe Dream. I loved reading your articles and watching you blossom over the years, and I’m so proud of you. Please send me all the stuff you write for Cosmo. I am your biggest fan, and I hope you know that. Cheers to more concerts, hockey games and many more spontaneous postgrad adventures together! I love you.

Hamza and Harry: thank you both for welcoming me with open arms and providing me with so much support and patience throughout the year. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Best of luck to Bella, Lia and Jill this upcoming year! I know you guys are going to do amazing things!

Savannah Holmes is a senior double-majoring in biology and French and is Digital Editor.