“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.” – Danny Kaye
Let me start off by saying that paint better be BLUE and ORANGE ;o).
I touched on my feelings toward graduation a little bit the other day in the blog that I wrote while I was packing my things for this past weekend… but I wanted to again express my gratitude to everyone who had a part in putting me on this path in life. Maybe a doctoral degree will be in the future… I cannot dismiss the thought of obtaining one… but who knows what the future holds. For right now, I am completely ecstatic with all that I have accomplished in just over the past two years.
As I mentioned, grad school was not easy by any means while I was also holding down a job… but I got through it and I implore you to challenge yourself in ways that can help you grow as well. This chapter of my life was amazing. Difficult. But, amazing.
Mom and I made the trip to Gainesville on Thursday with Melky–it was her first vacation and we are so proud of how well she did in the car. After we checked in to our hotel, I finally got to see the UF campus. I picked up my cap and gown at the UF Bookstore and then flipped through what seemed like hundreds of pages until I found my name printed in the program for graduation.
THE BIG DAY! I finally was able to check out Weimer Hall–the home of school of Journalism & Mass Communication. I had agreed to give a video testimonial about my experience in the program so I was able to meet some of the wonderful people who helped answer my questions and provided me with incredible tools for learning while I was a student.
Honestly, I have nothing but really great things to say about my experience as a distance learning student on the social media track. The entire department was so attentive and wanted to assist us with any questions or concerns we had–no matter what time it was. Some of the professors in the program would literally communicate back with us at crazy late hours–they didn’t just let our emails hang in their inbox. It made me feel like they truly cared about my success throughout the duration of my studies. The kind folks even gave me a beautiful plaque!!!
Seriously, I’ve never met anyone else who had their school present them with a graduation gift. I’m so appreciative. To cap it off, my mother and I were even given a tour of the facility and shown some really amazing things that are going on up there. The students in this department are definitely poised to be rather successful with the opportunities the school is providing to them.
I was elated to finally meet some of my peers at graduation. It’s crazy how you can work with people on presentations and papers through the use of modern day technology, but never have met. So, I finally had the opportunity to meet quite a few of them! They definitely made the long process much more tolerable. As the story would go, we walk out on to the field as they play the graduation song. No sooner does everyone sit down (it took a good 20 minutes for everyone to walk out and be seated) and the rain starts to come down. Thankfully, the school equipped each of the graduates with a poncho under our seats (as well as a bottle of water). I was freaking out a little bit because of my spray tan (haha). They had us exit the field after about 4-5 minutes of rain because of a lighting strike in the area. The rules state that you must wait thirty minutes before continuing after a lighting strike. Unfortunately, lighting decided to strike a few times so we had to keep waiting.
Our 7pm start time quickly became 8:45pm when they allowed us to get back to the seats on the field. It was chaos. If there was one interesting tidbit about the schedule of events, it was the fact that apparently we had the first rain during graduation in over 50 years. There you go… part of Gator history.
BIGGG thank you to my friend Megan and her mother who kindly came to celebrate with me on the big day!
Also a big thank you to my family who all made the trip to Gainesville to hear my name called inside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Whatever the future may hold… I know that it is going to be amazing. I’m officially concluding this chapter in the story of my life–and it certainly was a great one!
The best has yet to be written.