It seems surreal that I am turning the pages and coming upon its final chapter in this book of a life series of mine. I have a conflicted nostalgic feeling in my heart, but I know big things are going to happen—good things are going to happen. But, at the same time, I wish I could make time stand still and savor the moments a little longer. At this point in life, I am reminded of all the events that got me to this place. I feel like I should still be that fifteen-year-old sitting in my first college class, but I am not that same girl anymore. I am now a twenty-one-year-old who has far exceeded my personal expectations I set for myself, broken down barriers, and not settled for anything less. I have found my voice. I have found my niche. I have found my passion. My college career towards an undergraduate degree will soon come to a close, and as much as that excites me, it scares me all the same.
Change is a good thing, but no one ever likes to admit it. Since choosing the path I chose for high school, my life seemed to snowball into a rapid and ever-changing continuum. One would think, I would be comfortable with the changing phases of life and welcome them with open arms, but this is where my sentimental side shines through and overtakes my thoughts. So many changes happened all at once the year I graduated from high school and community college. Two significant milestones came and went in the blink of an eye, and I had to say goodbye after five years to the people and place I grew to love. This is only the beginning of life changes, so I guess I had better get used to this feeling.
I was not sure I could love an institution as much as I loved Monroe County Community College, but The University of Toledo has made its way into my heart. As I begin my third year, I cannot help but feel emotional about another graduation year beginning. I have made wonderful friends who are the reason I was even able to muster the strength to push through last year’s highs and lows. My advisors cheered me on when the tough got going, and the going got tough. My parents listened to my rants and were there to wipe away my uncontrollable tears when I could not take it anymore. For as many times as I wished the years would just hurry up and go by and fast forward to graduation day, I wish for nothing more than to genuinely enjoy the coming school year so that I can truly appreciate all that has come from my years at The University of Toledo.
While most of my apprehensions and tears derived from the stress of studying and questioning if I would be good enough in the field I wanted to pursue, now, I shed a tear for a different reason. I shed a tear for the memories that will lie in the time capsule and forever remain in the past. I will move forward, looking back on this final chapter of undergrad and cherish the good times and learn from the lessons of the hard times. This is honestly a happy time to celebrate an accomplishment, and I am happy. It proves that I can push through no matter the obstacles that tried to stand in my way and still come out on top.
When this school year concludes, a ceremony with thousands of students will take place to grant us into the next phase of life officially. For me, this sets another stepping stone on my journey to chasing my dreams. A new layer of foundation will be laid in my education, and I will embark on a new chapter in a new book. My undergraduate experience has brought more to me than I ever imagined it would. My memory reel is full of time spent with new friends and gaining such a passion for my field of study. I have ventured to conferences with friends, and in efforts to celebrate the slightest of achievements to the biggest and best things to celebrate, we have come up with any reason to go on food runs. We studied together, we laughed together, and we grew together. I gained ownership of my field. I aspired to be like my professors one day. I realized there is a place for me to do the job I want to do for the rest of my life.
In the rat race of life, I am keeping my eye on the prize. I have come too far to let anything come between me and my Bachelor’s degree. While there are not exact winners and losers in life, I think we should still be training for the race we are all running at the current time. It does not matter the time it takes us to run it, nor should we compare the training strategies from one person to the next. What does matter is that we finish. And when this race ends, I will begin a new one. My goals regarding my education are coming together, but not quite over yet. I am bound and determined to make this last year count. I am rounding the last bend with a clear mind, hopeful outlook, and a champion’s heart. As for me and this chapter of life, the finish line awaits.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2017