For Hahn, making connections
has been best part of college
Life is a story, and we always hope the best chapters are yet to be written. For many soon-to-be graduates, a wonderful chapter is coming to a close, promising even better adventures just a page turn away.
April Hahn is penning the last few paragraphs of her college education this week. The Texas State University senior, who will graduate Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in journalism, says, “Conclusions are the hardest parts to write” — which aptly sums up the bittersweet experience of graduation.
For the Leander native, her years at Texas State have been marked by making strong connections within the university community.
“I really liked how personal it felt here and how small and tight-knit it was when I came to visit in high school,” she says. “I think coming here without really close friends led to the best part of my experience at Texas State, helping me meet people who have become really close friends.”
From her first day on campus, Hahn has enjoyed building strong relationships with her dorm mates and professors. She is especially close to her freshman communication (COMM 1310) professor, Paula Baldwin, who is now completing her PhD in another state. They’ve kept in touch through Facebook and occasional visits.
“It’s just really nice to know that someone’s got your back,” Hahn says of Baldwin. “She’s very supportive … very encouraging.”
In addition to developing such uplifting relationships, Hahn has been able to delve into her love of literature through her degree program. Her favorite courses include an adolescent literature class and a children’s literature class, which explored the evolution of fairy tales.
“A lot of adolescent lit deals with identity issues and how to find out who you are by doing different things,” she says. “It was really, really interesting to see all the things I missed as an adolescent reading these books, things that would have been helpful to know then.”
Like the literary heroes and heroines she studied, Hahn has triumphed through the many tasks of her journey, consistently taking full course loads while working part-time on campus in the Office of University Marketing. But the rewards of her diligence are satisfying, in her view.
“I’m proud that I did it, that I was able to just keep going, taking 15- and 18-hour semesters to get through in four years,” she says. “It was pretty rough sometimes, but worth it.”
Hahn is looking forward to graduation and taking her hard-won education and finely tuned literary skills to the publishing industry.
“I’d love to edit books,” she says. An avid Kindle reader, she’s interested in editing and transcribing e-books. Having worked as a student journalist and gone through the gamut of compositional training required for her degree, her writing and editing skills will serve her well as she develops her career.
“I can write pretty much anything that’s asked of me at this point,” she says. “I’ve been involved in writing for many different genres — from journalism to literature to technical — so I’m confident about it.”
Looking back over her educational experience and the skills she’s honed at Texas State, Hahn concludes that one thing over all else has helped her succeed. Her advice is emphatic: “Go to class, because that’s where the most interesting stuff is going to happen. Textbooks are great, but they aren’t discussions and insights from professors and your fellow students mentioning things that you didn’t even notice.”
Students like Hahn — dedicated, friendly and inquisitive — reflect the culture and supportive atmosphere of the Texas State community. But nothing describes that quality better than Hahn’s parting words to the university as she prepares to close this chapter of her story.
“Thanks, Texas State, for being the type of place that you can get an education, but that’s not even the biggest part of it,” she says. “This is a place where students can make connections and figure life out.”