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Marie Dienhart

Hometown: Hinckley, Illinois

Major: English

Plans after graduation

I've been accepted into the Educational Policy Studies Master's Program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

How did Augustana prepare you for life after graduation?

I've learned to be much more independent than I was when I first got to Augustana. In the past two years, I feel like I've grown up so much-this makes me feel ready to graduate. Without the faculty here, I never would have figured out what I want to do with my life, and without my friends I never would have discovered the person that I am meant to be. Augustana provided me with both of these things, and they allow me to confidently move onto the next chapter of my life.

What are you looking forward to about life after graduation?

I look forward to being able to finally pursue the career goals that I have been preparing to accomplish. I can't wait to put my education to good use and immerse myself in what I love.

What will you miss about Augustana?

Of course, I will miss my friends and the faculty more than anything. These people have guided me through my last two years here, and I will miss not being able to see them every day. But more than that, I will miss feeling at home in this place. I've been to three different colleges, and this is the only place that has really come to feel like my second home. I will miss all of the people and memories I am leaving behind more than anything.

What was your favorite memory from Augie?

My favorite memories of Augustana have been spending time with the international students. Over the past two years, I've grown very close with this group of students (half of which have already returned to their respective countries). The experiences and attitudes that they contribute have opened my eyes to the world and allowed me to better understand my role within it. Without them, I would not be the person I am today.

What advice would you give to current students?

College is what you make it-take risks and do the unlikely. Whether you fail or succeed, these are the things that define you.