Thursday, April 18, 2013

Greatest Hits: Appalachian Graduation

Before continuing, you may want to read the introduction to my Greatest Hits series HERE and  #1 HERE. An important note: this series is not in order of importance.

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." - Abraham Lincoln

After five years in college, I graduated on Saturday, May 7, 2011. I imagine that a lot of young professionals would include the day they received their degree on a list of greatest hits. Finishing college is certainly an accomplishment by any standard, but it was more important to me.

I had a rough time in college, which was something that I didn't expect. I assumed I'd make lots of friends, get involved on campus, love my major, and graduate in 4 years on my way to a shiny new job. That's what they do in the movies, right? I had plenty of friends and had fun outside of class, but not in the way that the media portrays college. I didn't stay out late. I didn't go to parties. I've never been drunk to this day. I wasn't having a rough time because I was showing up hungover to class, which is what many would assume. Nope.

I was having a rough time because I was lost. I started as an English major, something that I was truly passionate about in high school. But it didn't quite fit. I dropped classes, quit going to classes, took pointless classes, etc. I wasted my time and I was a bad student. A lot of my college friends didn't even know this (surprise, guys!).

I came to a point where I had to make some important decisions about my education. I found the faculty and staff, as a whole, very difficult to work with. I felt unsupported. I literally took pen to paper and mapped out everything I needed to do to graduate on May 7, 2011. And then I made it happen. Myself. I applied to a new degree program, was accepted, and completed all of my major requirements in 3 semesters. Along the way, I decided to pursue graduate education. I applied to 4 schools and was accepted to 4 schools. I'm thankful to say that I'll soon be celebrating another graduation day.

My experience in college was abnormal compared to most (or at least that is my assumption). I went in assuming that things would be peachy and when they weren't, I didn't know what to do. It took me a little longer to reach graduation, but it's a day that I will never, ever forget. After a long journey I finally felt proud and successful.

Did you have a rough time in college? What did television/movies teach you about college life? Comment below!


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