I graduated yesterday…

Yesterday morning felt like a blur.

One minute I’m screaming with joy after reading my acceptance letter then the next thing I know I’m sitting in a sea of graduate students.

They say college goes by fast and goddamn they were right.

It’s hard to believe four years flew by and I’m not that incredibly naïve freshman who has no clue of what’s to come as she explores Temple.

freshmen me
Me on Orientation Day.

My mind is a whirlwind of emotions right now and they’ll probably remain that way for the next couple months. Now it’s time to start figuring out where I want to work and accepting that the field I’m in is the one I’ll be in for the rest of my life.

No worries though, right?

Mentally, I know I’m not ready to jump into the application process. I want to register for the fall semester and pretend I still have another year to go. I can still be a part of Her Campus Temple and The Tab Temple. I can coordinate my schedule whenever I want and sometimes forget the consequences of that privilege.

But more importantly, I’d be a current Temple Owl—not a former one.

They say it’s normal to go through a state of mixed emotions with a high dose of nostalgia but they don’t fully understand Temple’s influence on me.

Even though I spent my freshmen year at Penn State Abington, I began my adventures at Temple around the same time.

The university opened up a world of experiences for me and life took turns brutally hitting me with each of them.

In middle school and high school, I didn’t really experience typical adolescence. I didn’t know who I was and I was so unaware of many social issues. Temple wasn’t meant to be a stage in my life where I only learned how to prep myself for the work world. This stage in my life welcomed many firsts for me mentally, socially, and academically.

I faced challenges such as heartbreak, the power of anxiety and depression and how they can consume your life, cutting out toxic friends and people, checking myself when I’m problematic, realizing the journey to self-love doesn’t happen in a short period of time, accepting that people come and go, discovering months later the true difference between a guy who wants to be with you v. a guy who wants you only when its convenient for him, learning when its okay to not study so much for an exam, how it can be so easy to waste money, owning up to my mistakes, dealing with people with that exact opposite mind as me, the cruelties of procrastination tied with insecurity, and how competitive my major is.

I learned (well more so still learning) about a lot of crucial issues from all different spectrums in regards to topics such as politics, economics, race and ethnicity, mental health, gender and sexuality identities, etc. To me, Temple was a diverse university and I met people from all over the world and had the opportunity to listen to their stories about the impact each of these factors have on people with different identities.

Along the way, I had the privilege to call many of them my friends. I also met quite a bit of people who sucked the life out of me and tried to break my down. I’m glad they aren’t around anymore but if there’s one thing I can be grateful for about them are the lessons they gave me.

While it can be argued that I didn’t need to attend Temple to get exposed to these lessons, I don’t think they would’ve held as much significance if I experienced some of them prior or if I went to a different university.

At first, I picked Temple because I wanted to be in the city and I thought it was an excellent school. I felt at home the second I stepped on campus and I couldn’t wait to become an Owl. As time went on, I started to discover other reasons that drew me to this university and the importance they held.

I strongly believe this chapter in my life was the most principal in self-discovery. It will be the longest and hardest to close.

Thank you Temple for accepting me as an Owl.

I promise to make a name for myself as an alumna.

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