To My Best Friend Graduating College

To My Best Friend Graduating College

Words cannot express how proud I am of you.
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Dear my best friend,

There are 26 letters in the alphabet, and despite the infinite possibilities in which these letters can be arranged into millions of words, there is no way to properly express how proud I am of you.

It's hard to believe it's already today- you're graduating college! You're officially better than me, even though we knew that all along.

I have watched you work so incredibly hard over these past four years. I feel blessed to have been there through it all: helping you move in to your freshman dorm, your acceptance to the honors program, and surviving a brutal biomedical engineering program... and doing it all with a smile on your face.

I know the past four years haven't been easy. There were many a night you went to bed without eating, and we went days without really talking because we were both just too busy with school.And when the going got tough, you never gave up. And for that, I admire you.

You kicked college's ass, and now you're graduating with honors! I couldn't be more proud of you for all you've accomplished. But truly, the best is yet to come.

You're now a full-fledged adult! Next comes moving out of your parents' house, getting your own place, and getting a full time job- not necessarily in that order. I am so happy for you that you already have a well-paying, full time job waiting for you after graduation! I would say you're lucky, but I know it's a direct result of all your hard work and the dedicated individual you are.

Even when you were worried you wouldn't make it through, I always knew you were going to be OK- that no matter what, you would succeed. Even though you doubted yourself sometimes (we all do), you never, ever gave up.

You are my inspiration every day to keep moving forward and never take my eyes off the prize: a degree, a good job, and independent life.

Every day you inspire me to work hard and stay true to myself, especially when times get hard. When I doubt myself, all I have to do is look at you.

You are my real life role model, even though you're only two years (OK- and a half) older than me. You are my personal definition of success. I've watched you blossom from an 18-year-old high school band nerd to a professional engineer. Watching you grow up and become successful has given me faith in myself, and I know that you would never let me fail.

The fact that you're graduating college reminds me of just how quickly time flies. I remember coming up to visit you in your freshman year like it was yesterday. I will always cherish the college memories we do have together, even though we go to different colleges.

I can't believe that today I will see you in your blue cap and gown, and an incredibly well-deserved Bachelor's degree in your hands. You give me hope that I will graduate college too. Because with you as my best friend, anything is possible. You've proven that to me.

So thank you for showing me what it means to have hard work and unwavering dedication pay off. And thank you for teaching me that even in the darkest times, there is always a glimmer of hope. And thank you for believing in me, as I have always believed in you.

I cannot say congratulations enough for graduating college today, and with so much to show for it. You are on your way to do great things, beyond both of our imaginations. And I'll be here every step of the way, supporting you, and cheering you on no matter what. I'll always be your biggest fan.

Congratulations, my friend. Or dare I say... conGRADulations.

I love you forever.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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3 Things i learned at pride in NYC

The people, the flags, and the glitter are even more magical in person.

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On Sunday, June 24th, my girlfriend, my best friend and I, all hopped on a train to the World Trade Center in New York City. After a short subway ride, we arrived at 16th Street, where the parade festivities began. Dressed in our decked out rainbow attire, we entered a vibrant crowd of flag wielding, self-loving having, beautiful people. Pride is something the LGBTQIA+ community knows how to celebrate well. Lesbihonest, I think its safe to say that the LGBTQ+ community essentially created loving yourself, along with embracing those around you, whether you know them or not. While at Pride, I learned a few things about myself, about how to love others, and what it means to be apart of a community.

1. Love thy neighbor

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Because pride is such an important event to the LGBTQIA+ community, the number of people that attend each year is increasing by the thousands. There were an expected 48,000 people this year and when you're amerced in such a large crowd keeping your cool is super important. I learned that in most cases, giving love will result in receiving it, especially in 84-degree weather. So when I was making my way through energetic crowds, I used my p's and q's and was met with the same energy from strangers.

2. At pride, the dress code is no dress code

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If you're in the mood to wear your birthday suit, glitter, or witty t-shirt and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community as a member or as an ally, pride is the place to be! The extravagant outfits and expression of self-pride through clothes and even lack of clothes made me feel extremely comfortable in my own outfit. I think we all have had our share of being uncomfortable in our skin or clothes, but being around thousands of people dressed in whatever made them most comfortable that day was a beautiful experience.

3. Pride is not solely about the LGBTIA+ community

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Heritage of Pride, the nonprofit organization that organizes New York City's LGBT pride events each year, strives to work towards creating a future that consists of equal rights for all under the law. The march is an annual civil rights demonstration that brings awareness to the fight against aids, the Black Lives Matter movement and memorializes those who have lost their lives to illness, violence and neglect. This year over 450 different organizations participated in the march and about 110 floats were shown, each float bringing awareness to different organizations.

As an Afro-Latina, lesbian, I felt very represented and extremely grateful to participate in a civil rights event such as pride. The opportunity to educate myself and even feel more comfortable in my own skin, and enjoy myself with the people I love most, is something I will truly cherish. Hopefully, my experiences and knowledge will expand next year at the 2019 NYC pride!

Cover Image Credit:

Em Goss

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