To the Class of 2017

To the Class of 2017

Class of 2017, slow down and reflect.
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Class of 2017, you're about to graduate after years of hard work, sleepless nights, and what seems like thousands of exams. Your excitement understandably, is at an all-time high. But, maybe so is your anxiety. You can't wait to graduate and see what the future holds, but at the same time a major chapter of your life is ending. You've spent four years of your life here and have grown more in the last four years than you have in your entire life. Change is extremely difficult, but necessary. With final exams on the horizon, it might be hard to take time to reflect on your journey through college, but I hope that you find the time at some point to do so.

Life will never be the same in a couple of weeks. Many of the people you've interacted with on campus, you will never see again. Relationships will change and friendships will fade, as time, distance and the different paths of life take effect. Even with access to social media, it is said that a person is lucky to hold on to just 3 or 4 close friends from college. So, cherish every moment of your time with them. Drink and have fun yes, but take some time to reminisce. Take some time to say thank you for everything.

If you have a moment, take some time and walk around campus and reflect to yourself about how much you've grown and accomplished. The years seem to fly by so fast, that somehow they morph together. Let it all sink in and let yourself realize that you did it, you did something extremely difficult, extremely admirable and extremely rare. You got yourself a four year college degree.

Whether you're excited, nervous, scared or indifferent about leaving college, I know you're happy to walk across the stage and grab that degree. It takes you years to earn it, but only seconds to grab it. So when you're taking that walk, as they call your name, slow down a bit and saver it. And remember that life is not a race, it's okay to be nervous about the future. It's okay to not have a clear path of success just yet. Life is hard, no one ever said it was easy, it takes time. So, pace yourself and take a deep breath. Your journey does not end when you grab that degree, it is only just beginning.

Cover Image Credit: blog.rent.com

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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The Path Ahead Of Me

Create your own path to find yourself and the life you wish to live.

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"Fortunately, the sun has a wonderfully glorious habit of rising every morning. When the sky lightened, when the birds awoke, I knew I would never again see anything so splendid as the round red sun coming up over the Earth." Sam Gribley had an outlook on life that many people fail to see.

We often get stuck in the movements and routines of our day. We forget to live a little and enjoy our time here on our precious Earth. Lately, I myself have fallen into these motions and felt like a puppet in my own life. The simplest of solutions have lifted my spirits and have started to bring me back to my previous ways. Although Sam is a fictional character, he has a lot of truth behind his words. Each day the sun will rise, so no matter how hard yesterday was tomorrow is always a fresh start.

A few changes I have realized in myself are I have been making less negative comments and I have felt more confident. With the negativity changing in myself, I have also tried to make others more positive when they are down. I have had more confidence in my own abilities as a student and with the way, I look each day. Putting my own self down wouldn't get me anywhere in life.

While reading "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George, I felt inspired to take on more challenges in life and have higher standards. The life I live will be filled with positive people, good memories, and I will strive each day toward my goals. Each of us has our own mountain to conquer and I take mine day by day with my head high and towards the sun.

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