When I sit here and try and write about college and my experience I think about where I started. Coming to The University of Illinois at Chicago in 2015 was nonetheless overwhelming. I would be starting a new chapter where I completely knew nobody and would have to navigate the world alone. I remember being so vulnerable but excited to start school.. I was soon humbled by constant due dates. There was so many depressing nights I had, I wanted to give up and never look back some days. I've gained friends that I will forever cherish and I lost a lot of people along the way. Beginning this journey I had no idea I'll end up where I am now. An actual graduate. I've dreamed of things like this.
I played a lot my first two years of college. I didn't take anything serious. I was going out partying every single week not a care in the world about assignments or what the future possessed. My grades were so low. It wasn't until my junior year of college where I started to take my education more serious. I had to understand that this was my future I was playing with. I set goals. I decided going out could wait. I prioritized schoolwork FIRST.
During my last two years I became even more depressed.. It was terrible. I didn't want to wake up for class. I didn't want to finish. I forgot why I even started school in the first place. I felt like school was in the way. Why am I spending thousands on thousands for an education that I wasn't sure about.
During this last year I became even more scared. More so of the future.. Will I succeed? Will I find a job? Was this degree for anything? I had to sit back and reflect on what this degree really meant. So, what does it mean?
I sat very uncomfortable many months during college. I had to isolate myself. I had to make sure my peace was protected. It was necessary for me. I felt depression many times before but in college I had to swallow a couple hard pills..
Fortunately, the uncomfortability was soothing. It was the antidote. I knew I had to take accountability for my own actions.
As I finished my last undergraduate class last week it felt bittersweet. Sad that it's over but happy for the future. I set a goal for myself to finish college in four years and I worked so long and so hard. I took many classes over and enrolled in summer sessions. I spent long and hard hours perfecting work just so I would pass class. I dreaded going. I still dread thinking about college. Regardless of the work, I've built so many skills that will forever be instilled in me. I literally found my purpose while in college. I found out a lot of things I love and hate. I found out so much about myself. I pushed myself. I overcame some of the most traumatic situations during this journey. I learned there is no limit when achieving goals. I stayed ten toes down..
For me college is all about applying yourself. Nothing more, nothing less. Finding that perfect balance. The college experience varies for each and everyone but one thing that remains common is being able to build and grow from experiences.
I'll never be done growing.. My mind races with so many thoughts.. What moves will I make next? Where will I go? What do I plan on doing? I feel like I have a script anytime I get asked this question. Truth is, I don't know exactly where I'm headed.. I have a plan. I have a couple of plans actually.. You ALWAYS need a plan A - Z because you're course never ends and can always change. So lets just watch these plans unfold and see which ones will take us to the top.
This is for all the long nights I stayed up. To all the nights I cried wishing it would be over. To learning more about myself. To friends. To family. To parties. To every L I took. To every W I took. Most importantly, I learned more about who I am. I’ve learned from it all. This is only a small milestone of accomplishments.
So cheers... Not to just graduating but crying gracefully while doing so.
P.S. I didn't get an internship last summer so I created this platform in efforts to learn more about myself along with gaining experiences with various marketing strategies. So you can kinda thank college for this. I know I do. Watch it grow.