Faith, Family, and Moving On

By Ann Riley Baldwin

Campus parking meters are lined with cars, dorms are packed to the brim, and the familiar chatter of university students resonates through the Horseshoe— the fall semester is officially here.  For many, Aug. 24 marks the beginning of a four-year journey full of ups, downs, firsts and unknowns.  As freshmen proudly accept their first badge of adulthood, seniors prepare to sing their final “forever to thee” before closing their eyes and leaping off the ledge of undergraduate life, into the real world. 

While many feel the pressure and anxiety of leaving it all behind, one Univ of South Carolina senior proves faith, family, and a positive attitude can help you transition to the working world. 

Lesley Hitson is a senior public relations major and retail minor from Griffin, Georgia.  Despite her wide involvement in university life and extracurricular activities like Cocky Connections, Greek Ambassadors, and First College Ministry, Hitson is a rarity in that she welcomes the next chapter of her life. 

“I loved my time at USC but I will not miss school.  I don’t want to hold on to the past four years or bask in the glory of my college days forever.  I appreciate my college experience and am grateful for the memories but I believe there is more to life,” Hilton said on her last first day of Monday classes.  

Hitson is set to graduate in December. Like many seniors she is preparing for the uncertainty of life after college.  Her summer marketing internship at 650 Lincoln, a student apartment complex in Columbia, and her public relations schooling have equipped her to succeed. But Hitson says her biggest motivator is her belief in something bigger than herself. She is a strong Christian and her belief in serving the greater good has fueled her interest in working in public relations for nonprofits.  Despite the whirlwind of deadlines, job applications, and uncertainty, she maintains her composure and positive attitude, a strength she attributes to her faith and support from her family.  She says she wouldn’t change anything about her university years.  

“Every year I’ve experienced major growth and each year I come back a new person, a better person,” she says. “I figured out who I am through the lessons that I had to learn these past four years and most of those lessons came from negative events.  I wouldn’t change anything.” 

Many end their college years with regrets, but Hitson sticks to her motto, “gratefulness, thankfulness, appreciation, and praise.” Her positive outlook on change and letting go, suggest that true success lies in cherishing the good memories and learning from mistakes.

Baldwin is a public relations senior 

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