Graduation Day: To Those Who Got Me Here

Graduation Day: To Those Who Got Me Here

Just so you know, before I graduate...

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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31 Roommates And 4 Years Later, This Is What I've Learned About Living With Other Humans

From New Jersey to Mississippi to Italy and everywhere in between.

My very first day of college I walked into an all women's dorm and met my roommate. We both grew up in Indiana and it was super easy to relate. She was chill, easy going, and very low maintenance. However, throughout my years of college, I quickly learned that not all roommates are going to be this way.

I spent my second semester at Disney World pursuing the Disney College Program. My first couple months I was lucky enough to live with girls from all over the United States including New Jersey, Philadelphia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Wisconsin. I learned about their hometowns while also hearing many different accents.

Sadly things did not work out in this apartment so I ended up moving half-way through the program.

I found out I would be living with four international girls and felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I learned about Italian and German cultures from my amazing European roommates. I quickly learned how healthy European women live with their diets and was very inspired to live more health consciously during this time. I can not deny how much fun I had meeting Italian boys as well... but that's just one tiny perk.

After my college program was over I went back to live with three other girls I had chosen beforehand. This was a pretty good situation as we all knew each other, but there was a division when it came to cleanliness. After missing Disney immensely I went back for the second semester, this time to Disneyland in California.

My roommates were mainly from the west coast states of Oregon, California, and Arizona. I did eventually share a room with a girl from North Carolina. We were all very busy working so there really never were any issues. I learned so much about California and met girls to go on amazing touristry trips.

Then I transferred to Indiana University. Here at IU, I started with two other roommates. We were all from Indiana and transfer students. This was one of the most fun experiences as we always had friends over, ordered pizza, and drank wine. I loved every moment.

My next group of IU roommates was a random jumble of girls including two girls from Indy, an army brat, a before local, and a girl from China. These girls were a random jumble but the experience was great because we learned so much from our differences. Some of us were clean, others messy... needless to say, all things eventually were talked about. These memories were some of my most precious such as crying over Trump winning over a bottle of wine on my 21st birthday.

Lastly are this past year's roommates. These girls were from the Chicago and Indy area, pretty typical for IU. They were by far the cleanest roommates I have ever had. This situation was pretty good until a building smoke issue, so I then moved.

Right now I have three other roommates that are each from completely different backgrounds. I have one roommate from Dubai, another from NYC, and then a Fischers/Indy roomie. These girls could not be any more different but the dynamic is great.

Cover Image Credit: Madison Cole

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I Received My Degree In The Fall, But I Do Not Consider Myself A 'Graduate'

That ceremony is a huge deal.

I know I've made several references in some of my past articles to being a recent college graduate, but I actually want to explain more on this subject. I don't exactly consider myself a college graduate because I did not participate in the walking ceremony...yet.

The University at Albany (UAlbany), the school I had attended, announced in March 2017 that it was getting rid of the fall commencement ceremony, something that many universities hold for those that graduate a semester earlier than planned.

Many students who had been planning to complete their degrees then spoke out in anger, and the Student Association even appealed to the administration.

However, that still did not work.

While the school definitely considered us finished with our degrees, we are all welcome to participate in the commencement ceremony that is coming up in May. We get to return and reunite with the friends who are just now graduating, too.

It almost feels surreal, being a "graduate," but also not being a "graduate." I've been using these past several months to embark on the dreaded job search, which is certainly an adventure (though, a very discouraging one).

Sometimes, it feels like I should already be working or doing something exciting because I just graduated.

But yet, I also don't perceive myself as someone who already completed their degree quite yet because I haven't walked up onto that stage.

Of course, as far as student loans go, it seems that they've already determined that we are graduated, considering that some of us have to start paying them in another month or so because the six month grace period started in January, not June, as it would be for those attending this spring semester.

So, yay.

I can't wait until the graduation ceremony, then I will really feel like I accomplished college.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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