Y’all, I’m a college graduate. I actually have a Bachelor of Arts degree. I think I’ll need to say these things a few times over before it finally starts to sink in that I really did it. I’ve been thinking a lot about the girl I was when I first started my time at Midwestern State University (MSU) and how I thought the next four years of college would last a lifetime. I’m here to say, as I refrain from crying like a baby, that the time flies faster than you’ll ever imagine and you’ll be sitting here after the celebration dies down wanting to go back and do it all again from the beginning (okay okay, maybe just freshman year). Now that I’ve graduated with a major in mass communication and minor in broadcasting, the best is truly yet to comm. — pun intended.
I wrote this blog Dear Future Me 4 years ago after I graduated high school as a letter to myself upon graduating from this university, if I ever made it. Being totally honest I haven’t looked back on this blog since I wrote it for the purpose of it being a true letter to my future self. I couldn’t get through the first paragraph without tearing up and being so thankful that I took the time to write this; my high school graduated self congratulating my now college graduated self is entirely too sentimental. It really goes to show how far I’ve come and further proves to myself why I do this blog of mine in the first place — how else would I get to relive these life moments through photos and my own words and feel again what I felt for these milestones?
The letter to myself surprised me with how much I’ve accomplished from what I had hoped to accomplish back then. I found a part-time job I love and I’ve worked there my entire college career — shoutout to the cutest clothing store in town, Sewn Clothing Gallery. I found my group of close friends, through several trial and errors. I did end up changing my major, but I changed it to something that I am truly passionate for as I would have hoped. I did get an apartment with my best friend, stayed out past midnight maybe a few more times than I should’ve, and danced in my dorm room with that same friend — Keely Chappell IS my best friend for life and has been there for me always. I made mistakes and I gained experience, I stayed organized and diligent despite the odds, I learned how to cook and clean like any lady should (without a microwave), and I interned and found my dream job within my major.
While I have accomplished so much, the last four years have been anything but easy. They tell you college is hard, but they’re talking about the challenging coursework. They don’t tell you it’ll be balancing a job and college; and most of the time both in the same day, plus homework because you’ll need the money. They don’t tell you it’ll be picking between nights out with your friend and burrowing yourself in the library, or in my case, edit bays. They don’t tell you that you may realize a smidge too late that what you’re going for isn’t what you wanna do, so you’ll change your major completely and start over. They won’t tell you that your relationships with family, friends, and significant others will be challenged time and time again by priorities, and that you’ll find out who’s really there for you and who’s not. That you will have to work side-by-side some people who don’t respect you or walk past people that have hurt you on a small campus more often than not. They won’t tell you that lack of sleep, time to eat, and even breath will take a tole on your body if you don’t take the time to care for it, too. They won’t tell you that failure, or the fear of failure, will be ever-so-present in the back of your mind during it all, and wouldn’t it be easier to quit while you’re ahead. But what I will tell you is, despite all of this, graduation is still possible. That obtaining a college degree is worth all of these frustrations, heart-aches, and time-consuming work. That if you do this for yourself and only yourself, you will finish strong and you’ll be so, so, so proud that you did.
While I did all this for myself and my future, there’s no way I could’ve done it without the help of some very special people that I hold dear to my heart to get me through all these challenging affairs. I’ve pictured these very people below but I just gotta brag on them a little bit. I’m the first of my family to go to college. Both of my parents never finished high school. No one in my family knew what to do to get me signed up for college, enrolled in classes, get financial help from FAFSA, or anything for that matter. We were all just winging it four years ago and up until Saturday, but we figured it out together and we did it together. That’s something special.
I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without the love and support from my mom and dad. You guys have taught me everything I need to know about being a loving, caring, shoulder-to-cry-on parent to a child, but more than that you taught me how to be a good person in this world with something to contribute. My brother, who went a different route than college, but is proof that you don’t need a college degree to something amazing in life. Bubs, you’ve always supported me through college and I’ll always be here to do the same for you, you’ll never know how proud I am of you and how happy it makes me to be your sister. My cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents — you have all shown me so much love and support through my college career. Showing up for my documentary screening and graduation and telling me how proud y’all are of me truly meant the world. My best friends, Keely and Maddie, we’ve been best buds since high school and you guys have always been there for me when I needed a pick-me-up. I have no doubt we will be best friends forever — bring on the bridesmaid dresses! To put faces to these names, I’ve shared some photos below from my big day with these important people in my life. (More continued after photos.)
It’s still hard to believe I’ll never be going back to MSU, or the building I spent 90% of my time in this last year, the Fain Fine Arts building. Though I know, all good things must come to an end. I thoroughly enjoyed being the producer for MNG Media’s, Mustang News as well as anchor/reporter for our small show. Seeing your produced work finalized week after week is a feeling all it’s own — I’ve made myself proud for leading my team this semester. While it made me wanna pull my hair out more times than not, I’m also super proud of the senior documentary my senior group and I produced. In fact, now that I’m done with that, I truly don’t know what to do with all my free time and it feels weird not stressing over it every single day anymore.
Copyright Midwestern State University ©
I’ve attached the documentary, Napa, Texas, above since I’m so proud of it and Lord knows I’ve talked about it enough, you all deserved to see it in it’s final state. The documentary follows a sweet family with a good sense of dry humor that own and operate a local winery and vineyard here in Wichita Falls, Texas, the Horseshoe Bend Cellars and Winery. Like many vineyards across Texas, they too have the same dream of moving Texas up the ladder in becoming the number one state in the United States for wine production.
I hope you guys enjoy my last college production. It’s crazy to think about, but I’m now moving on to bigger and better things. I’ve been applying to news stations all across Texas and have heard back from a few of them now, which is so exciting! It’s time to get down to business and start deciding my next move on where I wanna go fulfill my dream of being a news anchor/reporter. While for the moment things aren’t very clear, I know that it’s all uphill from here and I’ll be sharing this journey with you all. With more to come, I’m signing off for now.