An Open Letter to my Campus on Graduation Day

Dear Campus,

The time has come, I'm going to leave you after four and a half years of blood, sweat tears, panic attacks, busy days, and sleepless nights, my graduation day has finally come. I'm not going to lie, I've been terrified of graduating since the very beginning of my senior year, and to be honest, I'm still a little scared of what the future is going to hold for me and what I'm going to accomplish, but I'm going into the real world with my head up high and my best foot forward as I look into my future.

I was just as scared when I first met you as I am now when I have to let you go. However, I came to you with as much confidence as I possibly could when I started my first day with you. I kept telling myself that the confidence I show throughout my college days will bleed onto others and inspire them to become more confident too, and that has paid off. Because of that, I made so many more friends than I ever could have imagined, discovered my potential as a leader and as a person.

I also never thought that my personal and professional relationships would be as strong as they are today if it weren't for you. I gained lots of internship experience, worked throughout college, gained E-board positions in organizations I was a part of and made lots of personal and professional connections that I know will stick with me throughout my life. You were the reason I was able to accept myself as a queer disabled woman and I cannot be any more grateful for that. I'll never forget all the fun times I had with you and all the opportunities you gave me that I would not have been able to get anywhere else.

You were truly my rock for these last four and a half years. During my best times, my worst times, my proudest accomplishments, and my biggest downfalls, you were there to support me and pick me up. You knew exactly what will cheer me up and what will help me stress much less about my classes, workload, and other obligations. Having to leave you is the most bittersweet feeling I could ever have because while there have been so many stressful times with you, and even some times that would make me wish I wasn't with you, you were still the highlight of my life.

I know that I'm going to be the biggest mess of tears when I walk on that stage during my commencement and convocation in cap and gown, knowing that all my memories with you will be just that; memories. But I know that one thing will be true throughout my adulthood; the fact that you prepared me for my future better than anyone or anything ever will. I will always remember all the amazing things you gave me, and it will motivate me more for my future. It really is all here. Thank you.

With love,

A scared but excited alumnus

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