As my final semester of my undergraduate career ends, and as graduation comes ever closer (next Saturday!), I realize I have a lot of people to thank for helping me get this far. It seems, though, that I do not have adequate words to express how truly blessed I am to have gotten this far and to have people who support me one hundred percent the entire way. Anytime I try to say something, it comes out as more of a stutter and emotional mess than I want it to be. But I felt compelled to write a thank you to all those who have helped me.
My parents and my nana have supported me, both financially and emotionally, the past five years. While I obviously wouldn’t be here without any of them, I couldn’t be any more blessed to have family who support my dreams and my goals, and who tell me to go for what I am passionate about. They have never stopped supporting my dreams, and they have never told me I can’t do it. They have pushed me forward, even as I have cried about how hard it’s been and how badly I want it to just be over already. They remind me to breathe. They remind me what hard work and perseverance can get you. They remind me I have a never-ending support system. They remind me they love me no matter what.
My husband. Words cannot describe how blessed I am to be married to a man like him. He has made me laugh when all I want to do is cry. He has held me in my weakest moments and spurred me on in my strongest. He has reminded me that I have to do what I love or I won’t be happy. He has pulled me to the surface when I felt I was drowning. He has been a constant, someone I can rely on. He has been an ear when I need to vent; even if he just stares at me as I talk, I know he is listening. He has reminded me that love is bliss, but it is also a lot of work. He makes me want to be a better woman and a better wife every day.
My family across the country—from Pennsylvania to Georgia. You have been great support to me as I have journeyed through college and my first year (almost 2!) of marriage. Even though we are states away, I know you are only a phone call away when I need you. Especially my little sister. We may not text all day every day, but you know I am always there for you, and I know you are always there for me. You have helped me talk through so much when I have felt alone.
I have a few friends “back home” who have stuck this journey out with me. They supported me in my leaving for school. They supported me as I broke the news that I would be getting married at twenty years old. They understood why I could no longer call California “home”: because home is now where my husband and I are. They understood that, no matter where I was, I would always be there for them. They understood that, even if we didn’t talk all the time, they would always hold a special place in my heart. They understood that a marriage changes your life, but they knew they would always be a part of my life. They are the ones I still talk to because they know me—they know that, while we may change as individuals, we will always pick up our friendship where we left off.
The friends I met when I went away to college changed my perspective on a lot of things. They made me realize that I don’t need the approval of those who can’t support me; I only need to be who God has made me to be. They made me realize that (surprise!) I can make friends. Most importantly, they made me realize my faith—they brought me to a point where I could trust God again, and that moved me forward in a way nothing else could. It has forever changed my perspective on things.
Lastly, the professors I have had the pleasure to have the past years, especially when I left California. They made me see what I really needed to do and who I really needed to be. They showed me the path I needed to take. They helped me make choices. They taught me, not just about the subject, but about being a good and honest person. They taught me not to take crap from people. They made me see college could be a wonderful thing. They showed me how to succeed.
Even these words seem inadequate for all these people have done for me and for all they have taught me along the way. I would not have made it this far, I would not be who I am, if I had not been blessed to cross paths with these amazing people. I am looking forward to continuing on to graduate school for Applied Communication and for all I have yet to learn. I am looking forward to a bright future. I know I can count on these people as I move forward, and I cannot thank them enough for being a part of the book of my life.