On Friday afternoon, in between freak hail storms, I graduated from Northern Arizona University.
The ceremony was perfect, as was the celebration with my family afterwards. It still hasn’t hit me yet that I’m not a “student” and I won’t be going back to school. So much chaos in the last four days has kept me quite distracted :)
Within 48 hours, I took my last final exam, welcomed my parents to Flagstaff, walked in the graduation ceremony, celebrated with my family, packed and cleaned my apartment and moved out of state.
My graduation cap reads “Smarter, Stronger, Older, Blonder” (than I was 4 years ago.) Most of the girls in my graduating class had decorated their caps and I was so impressed with the creativity! Unlike high school ceremonies, we get to sit next to our friends during the ceremony so I met up with my marketing buddies before we walked. Thanks to social media, we were encouraged to add #NAUgrad to any pictures we posted which would be displayed on the jumbotron. My selfie with the parents made its 5 seconds of fame! ;)
I am indescribably grateful to my parents for their support. Not only have they blessed me with being able to graduate debt-free, but they have been my constant cheerleaders, best friends and source of encouragement. My mom and dad pushed me to train for a marathon and apply for opportunities I considered out of my league. They welcomed me home when I needed a weekend of love. They traveled to my track races in Flagstaff, Phoenix, and California. They listened to me vent, and they were the first people I called with any exciting news.
There is no way to fully express my appreciation for the sacrifices they have made for my college education. But I know how fortunate I am to have been raised by such generous, compassionate, supportive people. I love you so much, Mom & Daddy! (They are my biggest blog fans, too ;) )
Immediately after exiting the dome, Flagstaff decided to welcome the Class of 2015 with a dramatic hail storm. What can you do but laugh?! It can rain on my parade but it couldn’t stop me from smiling! Post-graduation activities included brewing a fresh pot of coffee, putting on slippers, and beginning to fill cardboard boxes until our stomachs were growling. My mom, dad and I had a long delicious dinner, starting with a Pomegranate Mojito. We shared a smoked salmon appetizer and I picked a shrimp and scallop pasta dish (something far from my norm!) We were definitely too full for dessert, a very rare situation for us ;)
Honestly I was just trying to absorb the feeling of pride from completing my four years of college. I just wanted to soak the moment in before getting too carried away with “what comes next.” 24 hours after the ceremony, I was 200 miles down the road.
Congratulations to the Class of 2015!