One year post graduation DONE!

It’s been one year since my college graduation! I just want to give a quick shout out to Loyola University New Orleans Class of 2016. *waves to the pack* Hope each and everyone of you who may be reading this know that I am extremely proud of all of the amazing accomplishments of our class. We are all doing some awesome things in this world.

It’s been one crazy year for myself. From my first full time job, living on my own for the first time, and plenty other things. Boy have their been tears and I mean tears! Sad tears, tears of joy, and “I don’t know why I’m crying I may just be emotional” kind of tears. There also has been many pep talks and a lot of laughs from co-workers, family, friends, and even strangers. I’m so happy to have had everyone that has been on this journey with me. I am a blessed woman. Friends, family, old classmates, and teachers, you name it. I needed ALL of you.

Entering a new chapter of your life can be terrifying. Things changed drastically. People I spent almost every day with either moved back home (the benefits of going to a university with a large out of state/international attendance) or fell burden to a new chapter of responsibilities and didn’t keep in touch. So not only have I’ve been exploring this new chapter I have also been doing it with a lot less familiar faces. Thank God for facetime and lunch breaks. Blessed are those who can wipe the tears from your eyes even when miles away from you. I left Loyola with some friends I know I’ll have forever no matter what.

When I walked out of the dome I walked out with the biggest smile on my face after being able to hug and kiss almost every classmate I was able to get my arms around. Finishing college was a huge accomplishment for me. For a moment I wanted to quit everything even life itself, but I managed to overcome, take summer classes, and graduate on time like a boss all while working three jobs to pay for my education. Trust me I’ll be writing a book about the many things I’ve survived. Vulnerability gives strength to others. It lets them know that they aren’t alone. You know what they say, it takes a lot of pressure to make a diamond and a lot of heat to make glass. I came out of it all looking shiny and cute. Aren’t I cute? (just look at the picture above again)

Are you done admiring me? I do have a point for this post.

I hope my words encourage others to do the same. Keep it pushing. So we can all be cute and successful.

You never know where life will take you if don’t give up on yourself. I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish the many things I’ve accomplished this past year if I would have given up on myself. Keep going. A friend of mine posted a quote from Angie Martinez today that said, “Challenge yourself. If you can’t imagine the finish line, the first step is just to show up.” That quote alone reminded me all of what this whole year has been for me. I challenged myself to just show up and to just take a small step even at times I was terrified, exhausted, and/or confused. That’s my advice to recent grads, people who have already graduated, and also people who never went to school or just never finished. Show up. This is your life and whatever you do show up, take that next step. A year from now you will thank yourself. You will appreciate all of your progress. At times you might be in the moment of your progress and not really feel like you have accomplished much, but overtime you will see the bigger picture and it is going to feel so good.

One year. I still believe in myself. I’ve fallen and gotten up so many times and I plan on continuing to do just that. That’s how life goes. My last semester at Loyola I spent time in classes where affirmations were read at the beginning of every class and a discussion about peaks and valleys helped me understand that it’s important to understand that life comes with its up’s and down’s and that it is also important to be positive, to speak things into existence, and to believe in yourself.

Happy one year class of 2016. Lets continue to live the dream!

(featured picture credit: Brett Duke/NOLA.com)

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