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Senior Column: Seton Hall helped me discover my true sense of self

It's hard to put these last four years into words, but I will say this; I am who I am today because of Seton Hall.

If there is anything that I have overwhelmingly and perhaps unknowingly learned these past four years is to trust in the unknown.

For most of my life I have tried my hardest to plan things out and as a result of living in the future, I missed out on a lot of the present.

When I began my senior year I made a promise that I would live in the moment and what I found in the meantime was myself. Life has a funny way of working out when you just let it happen.

Last April I could not have imagined what would transpire over the next year, but I am really glad I gave it the opportunity to unfold.

There were two things that I wanted more than anything at the beginning of this year. First, I wanted the opportunity to participate in the Public Relations Society of America Bateman Case Study Competition and second, I wanted to go on a service trip with DOVE, both of which I did not think were possible.

As this year comes to an end, I am proud of where I am. Not only did I participate in the PRSA Bateman Competition but my team and I received an honorable mention for our work. Not only did I apply to a DOVE service trip, but I just got back from the most amazing week in El Salvador.

While those are two stand-out moments, I am so grateful for all of the things that happened in between. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by the people that I am and I will always revel in the moments where we were reckless because we could be.

It's been an incredibly long four years, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I've had the time of my life and I am leaving SHU with a great foundation, great friends, and phenomenal memories. I can't thank my family, friends and mentors enough for supporting me through these four years. I will always bleed blue; I am a Pirate for life.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared to graduate, but I am so glad that along the way I learned to put faith in what has yet to come.

Judith McNaught said, "There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others.

When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it."

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I've learned this year, above all else, that when you want something, you should do it.

Follow your heart even if it disturbs your plan.

The best moments in life are the ones that unfold when you aren't looking.

Life can change in a heartbeat. Embrace it.

Ashley Duvall is s senior public relations major from Vernon, N.J. She can be reached at


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