Am I ready to graduate? The answer is still unclear… I am not going to lie, graduation has been something I have had mixed feelings about ALL. MONTH. LONG. As excited as I am to graduate, I also do not really feel like I am graduating in just over a week. I graduate in 9 days, and I start graduate school in 19 days… so this whole cap and gown, walk across the stage, smile for pictures, and celebrate your achievements thing seems a little wasted to be honest. Then, there is this whole sentimental, mushy stuff I am feeling towards Rockhurst, my friends, and my family… which logically makes no sense because I am not going anywhere! I am literally going to be away from Rockhurst for 19 days, so why am I getting all sad about being done with my undergraduate career? Did I mention I have to walk the stage twice? That just STRESSES ME OUT… I could literally fall walking across the stage, not once, but TWICE!! As you can see, I have some very conflicting and confusing feelings about all this. I know I am mostly just being dramatic (probably because a lack of “real” finals has left me with too much time on my hands), but graduation has left me feeling all SORTS of ways. Most of all, it has left me with some immense feelings of gratitude, so I want to take some time to say thank you. Bear with me, and if you don’t like sentimental stuff… you might grab a tissue box or just stop reading now.
To Mommo – I want to say thank you for being (one half of) my biggest support throughout my 17 years of school, but especially over the last four years. Thank you for always understanding my struggles with mental health and perfectionism, and for always listening to me vent about the important difference between an A and an A-. Thank you for answering your phone the fifteen times a day that I call and for always acting like you cared about the trivial things I was telling you (it was probably about an old man I just saw, let’s be real). Thank you for crawling into bed and crying with me when boys broke my heart or (I thought) I got a bad grade. Thank you for the countless times you left work early because I was sick and just wanted my mom. Thank you for all the lunch dates that I suggested and that you graciously paid for. Thank you for constantly leaving early for work to drop something off that I accidentally left at home (this happened at least once a week). Thank you for consistently showing me how to be a strong woman of God. Thank you for being the best role model. Mostly, thank you for loving me so well.
To Fu – Thank you for being the other half of my biggest support. Thank you for the hours you put in helping me study for anatomy and Spanish. Thank you for always giving the best advice (and for still supporting me when I ignore said advice). Thank you for leaving work and coming to fix at least one thing on my truck every year. Thank you for constantly coming to my medical rescue because I should never be left to my own devices. Thank you for always making me laugh, even when I think I am going to cry. Thank you for always showing me the kind of love and respect I deserve. Thank you for always doing the heavy lifting and moving me in and out of various living situations. Thank you for always being my cotton candy dealer and taking ten million selfies with me at the Royals game. Thank you for all the Windstead’s dates. Thank you for insisting that everyone card me on my birthday and the whole week following. Thank you for always being excited to see me, even when I came home every weekend. Thank you for always asking about my day, even if you were pretending to be interested. Thank you for being my best friend, but more importantly, thank you for being the greatest Dad.
To Bubs – Thank you for being you, I would not be who I am today without you. You have taught me to stand up for myself, you have taught me to never give up, and so much more. Even when I did not like your teaching methods, I am always thankful for you. I am thankful to call my brother my best friend and to continue to build memories with you. Not many people can say that, but I am so thankful that I can.
To MawMaw and PawPaw – Thank you for constantly opening your home to me and for letting me complain to you whenever I have to vent. Thank you for supplying me with all the cheese crackers with peanut butter, all the Jolly Time kettlecorn, and all the oreos my heart desires (the real reason I gained the freshman 15). Thank you for always supporting my dreams and encouraging me when I start to lose sight. Thank you for always telling me how proud you are of me and reminding me that it is okay to stop and celebrate myself. I could thank you for so much more, but I am starting to cry and we all know I do not like that.
To Gramps – Even from 482 miles away (yes, I Google mapped it), you never cease to encourage me. Even though you are a man of few words, I am always comforted from hearing your voice. Thank you for always being my partner in crime. Thank you for always supporting me. Thank you for always thinking I am funny, even when I am not. Thank you for all the big things and the small. Thank you for being the person I have always looked up to. (And I am sorry if I make you cry for the fifth time in your life).
To Tracey – Thank you for always encouraging me and cheering me on. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for being my confidant and shoulder to cry on. Thank you for being one of the strongest female figures in my life. Thank you for showing me how to stand up for and to demand the best for myself. I really do not know what else to say besides thank you for always being the aunt that you did not have to be, I love you.
To Jackson and Keighan – Thank you for allowing me to be a role model for you, one that I hope you will continually look up to. Thank you for always taking an interest in my life, you make me feel much cooler than I am. Thank you for our college sleepovers and all-nighters, they are the only all-nighters I did in college (so far). Thank you for letting me help you with homework, it makes me appreciate college classes. Thank you for always giving me a reason to do my best and to push through the hard times. Thank you for always reminding me how lucky I am to be surrounded by family. Thank you for being the little brothers I never had, I am so lucky to be close with my baby cousins.
To Anni – Thank you for always sharing your sass and laughter with me. Thank you for alwyas being my other half. Thank you for always giving the best hugs and cheek kisses. Thank you for always taking pictures with me, even though you hate them. Thank you for always making me laugh and smile so much it hurts. Thank you for always believing in me and teaching me that you can be humble and still brag about yourself sometimes. Thank you for understanding me in ways that some people just never will, I am thankful for the bond we share. I am so blessed to even know my Great Grandmother, let alone have her as my best friend. For that, I am so, so thankful.
To the ones who should be here – Granddad, Lucy, and Chaddy – I am not really sure how I have survived without you three because I never thought I could. Even though you are now longer here, your memories continually push me to be the best that I can be. I always want to be the girl that you are proud of, and I hope that I have succeeded thus far. Every time I think about graduation, I am disheartened that you will not be there. There are so many moments in my life that you will continue to miss, ones that I have always dreamed of sharing with you. As for graduation, I will carry you with me every step of the way, and I know that you will be carrying me too. I hope they throw graduation parties up there, I know you are bragging to everyone regardless. I love you all endlessly, and I miss you even more.
To my aunts, uncles, friends, and everyone else I wish I could thank – Thank you for everyone who has encouraged me and cheered me on over the last four years. Although I cannot thank each and everyone of you, I hope you know just how monumental you have been throughout this journey. Even the small things in life have made a huge impact over the years, and I am so thankful for each person who has come into my life. I am so happy to share this accomplishment with you.
To Rockhurst – Thank you for molding me into the woman I am today. Thank you for teaching me to reflect and appreciate everything around me, big and small. Thank you for continually calling me to be a woman for and with others. Thank you for teaching me the value of community and service. Thank you for teaching me to find God in all things. You have taught me so many things over the last four years, and I cannot wait to see the things you reveal to me in the next three years.
To God – Thank you for all of the above. Thank you for creating me in your image, for guiding my path, and for blessing me in more ways than I know. I know that without you, none of this would be possible, and with you, anything is possible. I am so thankful for all you have given me thus far and all the ways you have changed my life. I will continually submit to your will and your plans, and I am ready for the journey you have for me next. Thank you for loving me so immeasurably and eternally. You have given me so much.
Okay, I am ready to graduate now, thanks.