Graduation Day!

December 19, 2013

Today I am graduating from college. And tomorrow is my first day in the “real world.” I’ve heard rumors that this is supposed to be a scary experience yet all I really feel is joy. Some of my best friends, my parents, my grandma and my man are here to see my five seconds of fame where I will walk across the stage and receive my diploma (holder).

Sam has been asking me for the past few weeks if I feel proud, because again it is something you’re supposed to feel when you graduate. Since I am the definition of a Type-A personality I’ve been going over the reasons I should be proud:

I am a first generation college student.
I was accepted to every college I applied to.
I transferred to NAU in the middle of my freshman year.
My first guidance counselor told me I wouldn’t graduate on time.
I’m graduating a semester early with honors.

… But those are all the things that will make NAU “proud” because it improves their statistics and looks good in a pamphlet. So I thought again about what I’ve really done in the past 3 1/2 years:

I’ve lived with 7 roommates in 4 different dorms/ apartments and finally found a good one (Sam!)
I’ve gone to two different colleges in two different states.
I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime and some that only lasted a week.
I ended up in Arizona because I took a gamble on a relationship that turned out to be the best thing in my life.
I adopted my first dog, and then got another a two years later!
I started my photography business during my sophomore year when I was only 19.
I’ve worked at four different jobs and have learned a lot.
I’ve gone to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Jerome, Phoenix, Tucson, Solvang, Buellton, San Jose, San Francisco, San Luis Obisbo, Palm Springs, New York, Hawaii, Oahu, and probably a few more.

These are the things I will remember and will want to tell my kids about some day. It has been an adventure, to say the least, filled with tears and frustration and laughter and bliss. I’ve spent a lot of time wishing this part of my life would hurry up. There were nights I would be going between writing a 10-page paper, studying for an exam,  editing photos and attempting to spend time with my family, and I would wonder why I was still trying. But now thats its over and the diploma I’ve been working for is almost in my hand it feels like time passed too quickly. Maybe it is just one of those things that  isn’t truly valued until it is over. So thanks for the memories, NAU! I’m already looking forward to the day I can take my kids here and say “this is where your dad and I went to school and started our lives together.”