Graduation Day: To Those Who Got Me Here

Graduation Day: To Those Who Got Me Here

Just so you know, before I graduate...
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It's crazy how quickly life passes. One minute, you're barely entering kindergarten. You're clinging to Mom's leg and are scared about whether or not she'll actually pick you up after school (she always did). The next minute, you're mere days away from your college graduation. Your cap is decorated and your gown is hung up in your closet, ready to be worn alongside several hundred other students who have gone on this journey with you.

But what we often don't realize is how the people around us are the reason we arrived at graduation. So this one goes out to the biggest cheerleaders in our lives: the people who got us to graduation

To Mom and Dad: Thank you for everything. You pushed me when I needed it and held my hand when I wasn't ready to let go. My opinion of you has changed for the better over the years and I wouldn't be where I am today without your constant love and support.

To my dearest roommates: You stayed with me through everything; dates that didn't work out, long nights, laughing so hard we cried, hosting Christmas parties, Welcome Weeks, and everything in between. Anybody who has lived with me and hasn't killed me deserves thanks, and you deserve that ten times over.

To the man who has my heart: I am better because of you. I have learned so much about myself and about life and love because I have had the privilege of having you in my life. You are extraordinary, and I pray that you never forget that.

To my best friends: You stuck it out with me. You have loved me when I was hardest to love and have celebrated with me when life was good. You stayed by my side through tears and laughter and hard decisions and funny moments we'll never forget. I don't know what I did to deserve you, but I'm glad I did it.

To the people I met along the way: Thank you for the lessons you have taught me. Whether it was to believe in myself or to not take everything so personally, each lesson from you made me better.

To the people who stood in the stands with me: We've cheered our hearts out. We've intimidated the competition beyond compare with nothing but our pure love and fierce loyalty to our school and our team. We will forever bleed purple, and we will forever throw our 'lopes up, and I can't thank you enough for letting me be part of that incredible camaraderie.

To the teachers who made a difference: Finding a teacher whose lessons stick with you is rare, and a teacher who is still invested in your life after so many years is even rarer, and I have had the privilege of both. Each of you has carved a special place in my heart and has shown me that teachers have the power to make all the difference in the world.

To those who will stand with me on graduation day: We have worked for this day for so many years. We have seen great teachers, bad teachers, hard projects, tests that made up 25% of our grade, all-nighters, homecomings, basketball games, and so many things in between, and we're finally here: the finish line. We made it here, and that's something no one can take away from us. In the wise words of Taylor Swift, "We are the Kings and the Queens. You traded your baseball cap for a crown. When they gave us our trophies, and we held them up for our town." This is our day, so breathe it in and make the most of it. Congratulations, class of 2017, we did it!!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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I Cannot Wait For My College Graduation

An important milestone in my life is complete.

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On December 8, 2018, I along with thousands of other Sam Houston State Univerity's (SHSU) students will be walking across the stage to earn my Bachelor degree, notably that of Bachelor of English.

It has been a long six and a half years for me, filled with indecision about my future and how I will contribute to society after the college bubble pops. In two months, however, the fight will be over and I will move on to the stage in life where the whole world is my oyster.

Nothing makes me more excited than to see the finish line and while I have considered dropping out at several points in my time in post-education, you don't quit at the final stretch. With that in mind, it's best for me to reflect on what this means for the future.

The first thing is that I hope to get more involved in writing in the future. There are all sorts of opportunities for writing out there aside from "do you want to write a novel?" There's copywriting, comic book writing, writing for publications (like this one), and the list goes on. As someone who writes for "Smashboards," that's a video game website I will already be writing for in the future.

Another thing is that I would love to find ways to get involved in my local community. Huntsville, Texas has fortunately proven to be a welcoming community that gives fellow residents a chance to prove themselves. Slightly over 40,000 is hardly a huge city, but when a town is as small as this, it takes everyone involved to make it as great as it is.

I expect to be in the city for at least a few more years.

The great thing about all of this is that I will actually have friends in the future to talk to. I'll be able to reach out regarding my writing if I have any questions, get advice on how to join Huntsville and Houston's writing scene, and to talk to people about my goals in the future.

As I said before, my time at SHSU will prove valuable towards building the network I already have and I am excited to keep in touch with the people that I already know.

I want to thank everyone who gave me the opportunity to make this graduation possible. I want to thank my family for putting me through college as far as they did, my professors for helping me to expose myself to challenging ideas, and my friends for giving me a community I felt I could be a part of.

Everyone who has chosen to be involved in my life means a lot to me and I say this with sincerity.

The six and a half years, especially the last two and a half, have prepared me for the rest of my life.

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