Hello lovelies! Today I thought I would talk about one of my biggest achievements so far: graduation!
On May 24th, 2017, I became the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year university. I made the president’s list twice, was a part of several organizations, and met so many people along the way during my college career.
I learned a lot about myself and about the world in such a short and long amount of time. Sometimes it felt like the days were dragging by, but now as I sit here writing about my life as a college graduate, it seems like the past 4 years flew by so quickly. Let’s go down memory lane…
Everything was so sparkly and new my freshman year of college. Since I dormed, I easily became involved in clubs, which led to getting invited to hang out with new friends, trying new foods, and experiencing new cities.
In terms of classes, I probably didn’t put as much effort as I should have into them and breezed by with A’s and B’s because I prioritized hanging out with my friends over my academics. But I told myself it was because they were general education classes and none of those courses really sparked any interest for me.
Instead, I really value the time I spent with my friends in that first year of college. It was my first time experiencing freedom and exploring a place that was different from my small city, so those are memories I will cherish in the years to come.
In my sophomore year, I took a couple of classes that were geared towards my major and I really enjoyed them. I also continued my involvement in clubs and took on the role of being an Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) student ambassador, which was a volunteer position that helped underserved API communities with college readiness and academics. I didn’t know it at the time, but this position would become one of the most beneficial activities I took on in my college career. You can read more about my experience as a student ambassador here.
Of course, life wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows anymore. It had been a year since I started college; now I was getting used to everything, even though lots of crazy adventures still happened. But my emotional rollercoaster began here. Some of the people I met along the way weren’t right for me, and I learned that the hard way.
But today, I can look back on it knowing it was for the best and it made me a better person. I can say that my second year of college was the year I learned about the good and bad that comes with potential relationships with others. In addition, I started to analyze my actions and emotions, which was the beginning of my journey to self-love and putting myself first.
My junior year was all kinds of crazy yet again. In this year, I learned so much about time management and the consequences of biting off more than you can chew. I took on a position designing and creating costumes with my roommate (which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done), added more extracurriculars, got my first job, and stupidly decided to take all 3 of my capstones together because back then I wanted to graduate in 3 and a half years (Important note: do not take all your capstones in one semester. I think I turned into a zombie for a few months).
Living on my own was starting to get more challenging as well since I was always on the go. It was hard to keep up with school and to have a social life while also making sure to feed yourself, have clean clothes, and do chores.
Luckily, the results were satisfactory. I passed all my capstones and I survived the costumes position. What got me through this semester was planning out every second of my life and being very sleep-deprived. I can still vividly remember doing homework late at night, sleeping from 4 AM-6 AM on my living room couch, and then waking up and doing more homework until it was time to start my day all over again. When winter break finally came around, I pretty much shut my brain off for 3 weeks.
My fourth and final year in college came with a slower lifestyle. I wanted to live it up since it was my last year, but I ended up having to cut back on going out. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but it ended up being a good thing. I’m naturally an introvert, so by my 3rd year, I wasn’t as keen on going out and there were several occasions where I would have to get dragged out of my apartment to go to an event. It also gave me a chance to focus on my studies without being as stressed out as I usually was.
Because of this, I ended up making the president’s list again and my GPA went up even more. It’s funny, the harder my classes got over the years, the better my grades got. But I think this was because I was enjoying all the classes that were related to my major.
For this last year, I became secretary in one of my clubs and I finished up my volunteer position as a student ambassador. I also became an English tutor and volunteered for other events such as job fairs whenever I had the time.
And now the day has come and gone. My commencement ceremony went by so quickly; I can’t believe that my 4 years of hard work was summarized by me walking across a stage and moving a tassel across my cap. I felt an array of emotions throughout the morning of my graduation.
When I woke up and got ready, I was nervous and excited. When I got to campus and waited to walk to our seats, I felt strangely alone since I don’t really have any friends in my major. But as I sat there and listened to the speeches, the music, and the cheers, I finally felt that feeling of accomplishment I had been missing for so long. And everyone around me, we all did it, we were all celebrating achieving the same goal.
For several months before my graduation, I felt like I was being looked down on for my career choice. I was constantly being told by certain people I wasn’t going to become successful and happy unless I made X amount of money and honestly, it really discouraged me. Of course, these people were obviously toxic, but sometimes the haters are just as motivational as the supporters.
Writing is my passion, and I can’t imagine what my time in college would’ve been like if I hadn’t majored in English. Sure, it might be more difficult to get a job and I might not make as much money, but I strongly believe hard work goes a long way and that money can never buy true happiness anyways. Sitting at my graduation ceremony helped me to realize that I should be proud of myself no matter what, and from here on out, it all depends on my skill set, work ethics, and confidence in my abilities.
My 4 years in college flew by so quickly. A part of me wishes I had done more or tried a little harder, but everything I have done happened for a reason.
This is for my mom and dad, who have done nothing but give me unconditional love and support, this is for the friends I was able to lean on throughout the last few years, and last but not least, this achievement is for me. I’m not completely sure of what the future holds, which is a little scary, but all I can do is keep moving forward from here.
If you made it through to the end of this post, thank you so much for reading! I hope you don’t mind that it was a lengthy one today; I just wanted to write out some of my thoughts for myself to look back on and maybe some of you might be able to relate to it!
Lastly, thank you to my friend David for my grad pictures; they came out amazing! You can check out his website here and hit him up if you need some professional photos taken! Okay, I’ll see you lovelies tomorrow! ☺