Thoughts Prompted by Graduation

My last day of undergraduate classes was Friday, my last undergraduate final is on Thursday and graduation is fourteen short days away. It is hard to believe that I will finally be walking across a stage, once again moving my tassel from left to right (or right to left, not sure), symbolizing that the work is done.

School has been a personal struggle for the last eight years of my life and it finally feels as if the weight is being lifted off of my shoulders. I walked into my first day of college class back in 2005 and expected college to be a breeze, just as high school had been.

Boy was I wrong.

College turned out to be more about growing up than academics in the beginning. Like a lot of college newbies, I was overwhelmed by the allure of alcohol and pot. I wanted to be social, not studious. After only one quarter, I left college.

I was ready for “real-world” experience, which I quickly received in the form of bills, relationships and jobs. As my “real-world” life continued on, school still loomed in the back of my mind, and the minds of my parents and grandparents.

I ignored this looming feeling and moved to Florida. I spent two delicious years playing on the beach and making new friends. I was reminded of the wonders of life and I was able to gain a new perspective with the help of the sunshine and the water.

In December of 2010, my dad made me an offer: that I should move home and finish school. It was something that he wanted to provide for me and, basically, something I needed to do. Well, turns out my dad had perfect timing.

One week before my big move back to Ohio, my mom called to tell me that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer and was preparing for surgery. It seemed like fate to me. I moved home with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement, looking forward to a new kind of adventure.

And what an adventure it has been. This time around, Ohio has been a lot nicer to me. I have grown up and am figuring out how to put all of the lessons I have learned over the years into a workable life philosophy. My relationships with my dad, mom, brother and sister have all improved tremendously. My new found love of the simple life from Florida has developed and I have taken up yoga and a vegetarian lifestyle.

But this adventure is about to come to a close and I can only hope that I am well prepared for the future ones. I am excited to see where I am at this time next year and what lessons I have taken away from life outside of the United States.

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