How To Celebrate Getting Your College Degree

Getting My Degree Was An Uphill Battle, And I Will Celebrate Accordingly

College is more than just graduation day, the bigger prize is finding yourself.


After 121 credit hours, the deed is done. I along with thousands of people are now college graduates ready to put these degrees to good use. Things were challenging from the ground up; with the passing of my father during the first semester, moments of financial stress, trying to keep a healthy balance with self-care and friendships and adventure as much as I can while maintaining my scholarship.

As each semester went by, I discovered more of the political aspect that falls in the atmosphere where you can't represent the school in student leadership because it rocks the boat of propaganda that promotes polished positivity in its marketing. Not to mention, there's a layer pristine of self-righteousness among few leaders feeling holier-than-thou. Dealing with that got more exhausting than preparing my capstone paper. My last semester turned into a competition as the only other female in my field and I were trying to out-do each other basically every day.

But, I found my best friends, and that made it worth it.

I was the only person from my school district who came out to Virginia for college after my high school graduation. I was happier than ever that nobody knew a thing about me so that I would not get blackballed when trying to make friends. While discovering who I really am, I found a cluster of diamonds disguised as people who accept me for who I am among an ocean of small-minded folks who were wrapped around their reputation that they couldn't associate with just anyone.

I learned the hard way that people aren't always gonna be there for you, everyone who smiles in your face is not your friend. When you truly love someone, you care about their well-being just as much as your own even if that means letting that friendship go for you both to reach your full potential.

I know who I am now, and I love every bit of her.

If the walls of my dorm could talk, you'd hear an earful. From the freshman girl with balls to ask someone to Winter Ball to the senior with such a target on her back. I became a conqueror from having my legs cut from under me junior year giving me the chance to wake up to everything around me, calling nonsense out for what it is and not apologizing for it. My transparent personality made me one of the most well-known students in my class from just being myself.

There's so much more to tell about my experience. When I look back at this time, I'm not gonna think about the stress from assignments but that I made it through the storm with the people who got me through it. I graduated proudly with the journey I had because every hill and valley was worth it. Now I am a college graduate with a job right out of college who bought her first car. I'm ready to see how this adulthood thing pans out.

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30 First-Apartment Essentials College Kids Forget To Buy At Target And Later Order On Amazon

Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts.


If you're anything like I am, you're beyond excited to start planning and shopping for your first apartment. It's easy to get wrapped up in the fun stuff for your first apartment, trust me, as a former Bed Bath & Beyond employee I could spend hours wandering through shower curtains and bedding.

Before you get too carried away there are just some essential things that you'll need, but they aren't as much fun to pick out. Don't wait until you need to take something out of the oven to realize that you don't have any oven mitts, because I really don't see that ending well for you (I may or may not know that from personal experience).

1. Oven mitts

Gets those oven mitts because the sleeve of your sweater might seem like it will work, but I'm living proof that it won't, most sweaters have holes.

2. Trash bags

Don't wait until you need to throw something away to realize you don't have them.

3. Hand soap

It's not like a dorm bathroom where the maintenance staff refills a soap dispenser that's drilled into the wall. You're on your own kid.

4. Toilet paper

Again, no staff replacing it for you. Stay on top of it and make sure you always replace an empty roll, especially if you have roommates.

5. Water filter or pitcher

This one depends on whether your water is safe to drink or not, but be prepared. You don't want to move in under the summer sun only to realize you don't have any drinkable water at your snazzy new pad.

6. Tools

Hammers, screwdrivers, all that jazz. If you're moving in some furniture you're probably going to need tools to put it together.

7. Lighting

You don't want to be unpacking and stumbling around a new space in the dark your first night. Know what lighting is built in and where you might need to add some light.

8. Silverware organizer

Ok, so you probably remembered to pack the silverware, but do you really want to throw it all in a pile in a drawer? That's a good way to grab the wrong end of a knife by accident, maybe get some dividers to keep your silverware nice and sorted.

9. Dish towels

Most people think about bath towels, but if you're not used to having a kitchen you might not have thought of dish towels. You're going to need those when you're whipping up your favorite dinner.

10. Measuring cups

I'm a huge advocate for estimating and guessing in the kitchen, but if you're baking anything at all you should probably at least have some measuring utensils as a guide.

11. Bottle opener and corkscrew

You're going to want to crack open a drink and celebrate your first night in the new place. Wouldn't it be a buzzkill if you couldn't even get the drinks open?

12. Sponges

You have to be able to clean the counters and the dishes when you're done being an expert chef!

13. Paper towels

Spills happen, and you don't always want to clean them with your nice towels.

14. Toilet plunger

It's one of those things you never really think about... that is, until you need one.

15. Air freshner

You know, for after you use the toilet plunger.

16. Extension cords

You probably have a larger space than you're used to, sometimes those cords that come with all your new electronics just aren't quite long enough.

17. Utensil container

A little round pot or bucket is the perfect place to put all of your kitchen utensils. Things like spatulas and whisks will take up space in your drawers and create clutter. Plus, keeping them out makes them easier to grab when you're whipping up some food.

18. Batteries

There's nothing worse than getting your new TV all set up and realizing you can't use the remote.

19. Curtains

If you need darkness to sleep, you want to make sure you get those bedroom curtains up and ready to roll.

20. Toilet bowl brush

Sorry, but I'm certainly not reaching in there with my hands.

21. Ice cube trays

To keep you cool as a cucumber during this stressful time.

22. Can opener

Try prying a can open with your hands. I dare you.

23. Stain remover

For when you try to pry the can open with your hands and manage to spray tomato sauce all over yourself.

24. Carbon monoxide/Smoke detectors

Cause we don't want any tragedies here.

25. Collander

We both know you will be making pasta every night, so you're going to need to drain it.

26. Coasters

You definitely don't want to ruin your super fancy new Ikea table.

27. Dry erase board

No need to argue over who should take out the trash, just make sure to write down everyone's chores.

28. Underbed storage

On a college budget there's no way you can expect a walk-in closet, those clothes and shoes will have to go somewhere.

29. Drying rack

For when the dryer in your building inevitably stops working.

30. Step stool

If you're short, like me, you need a little help reaching that top shelf.

Hopefully this list has helped you feel a little more prepared to move into your first apartment. The decorating and planning is so much more enjoyable when you know you have all of your bases covered. I wish you the best of luck with your first major endeavor in the world of adulting!

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