CLASS OF 2014: Elana

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I would be lying if I said my college career was easy. Frankly, they were the four most challenging years of my life. Both academically and personally, I was pushed every day. Being a student in college looked more like Legally Blonde than Old School. That said, it was during these four years at Union College that I learned the most about myself and as a result, grew tremendously.

After fighting my way through my tumultuous freshman year and watching Ellen DeGeneres’ 2009 Commencement Speech at Tulane University too much, I decided to enter sophomore year with fresh eyes. If there was one thing Ellen has ever taught me, it’s that you have to do what you love. So, I adopted a new mantra: to grow where I am planted. Ever since, it has been a guiding principle in my life.

During my sophomore year, I made the crucial decision to commit myself to everything I loved. That included taking more intellectual and cultural history classes, costuming in the theater and writing for the Arts section of the school newspaper. It was during this pivotal time, that college became more enjoyable because I was finally pursuing what made me excited. Finally, I was growing where I was planted, and I encourage everyone else to do the same—both in college and beyond.

Consequently, this new mantra led me to my internships with CollegeFashionista, which have been one of the many highlights of my time at Union College. When I look back at my life, it makes sense that I became interested in fashion. I was obsessed with Barbie, Polly Pocket and even Bratz, as well as, taking an early liking to awards season. Fashion was and continues to be one of my favorite forms of creative expression. That is why, when I received the opportunity to become a Style Guru for such an impressive and unique website, I did not hesitate to say yes. Ultimately, I am so proud that writing for CollegeFashionista has been an integral aspect of my Union College career.

While my future is still fairly uncertain, I am excited for what is to come. Whether I continue to pursue fashion, theater, film or anything else that my heart desires, I will always remember one thing that Ellen said, “You’re gonna be ok, dum de dum dum dum, just dance.”

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