Because in under 6 months time, I'll be a college graduate. I'll have culminated the last 5 years of my life in a ceremony where I can finally say, "I did it!"
But last night, I found myself laughing because I have spent the last 5 years of my life...for a piece of paper. This paper shows that I paid out the nose to get education. But I laughed, because I have spent the last five years for a paper.
But what does this paper mean to me? It's interesting, looking back, at the changes that I have gone through in the past 5 years. I am 100% not the same Amelia who graduated from Lapeer East High School on June 6, 2008.
|This was on my last of high school, I'm with my friends Katrina, Courtney and Sarah.|
Fall 2008 brought about new experiences in life. For once, I had control over what I wanted to do for most of the day. I drove myself to and from school and could do what I want when I was there. I could go out to eat where I wanted to. I could try new things. But I didn't try too much because I was well...scared! Everything was so big to me then. I had the ability try many things. But I didn't.
|Zach, Shannon and I in fall 2009.|
But this was the year that I really got close to a couple of the friends that I spend so much time with not, Abijah and Tanisha. These two lovely ladies came into my life at the beginning of Freshman year, but it wasn't until my 2nd year at the university that I actually got to know them. I am so glad I did, as I love these two dearly!
|Tanisha and Abijah in 2010|
The summer after this year was the summer I began working at The Fowler Center for Outdoor Education. This eye opening summer brought new experiences with campers that I would have never met anywhere else. Cabin 4, the pirate cabin, was the best of course, and it was just an amazing summer. I made some amazing friends that summer.
|Fall 2010, from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 premiere|
This was when a change needed to happen. Charter Oaks was always rough for me. For one, it had many memories. I lost some good friends while living there, and I spent a lot of time to myself in that apartment. It was time to move out of the walls that held so many memories. So, I moved to campus. Okay, maybe not on campus but close to it. In Fall 2010, I moved to Riverfront Residence Hall, my current residence. Who knew that living here would open up so many opportunities for me and shape me into a better person? Tanisha also joined me as we moved into 1104, our first apartment. It was a 3 bedroom and we didn't meet the last roommate until a few days after we moved in. Mindu would come to be one of our favorite people!
|Mindu and Abijah :)|
2011 began with a bang, while I joined some friends in Luna's basement for some fun times. Earlier in that year, I learned about the death of my father, a week of my life that would show me just how strong I was dealing with certain situations. I also got my first tattoo (and currently only one) with my cousin that year. In summer 2011, I went back to TFC for almost the whole entire summer, but ended it with some time with friends in Saginaw.
|Welcome Back Picnic 2011|
Tanisha, Mindu and I were now living in 512 which was exciting because it was a much larger apartment. In October, I turned 21 and held a wonderful party full of friends (and family because Molly was there). THAT was a fun night! This was really the year that I stretched the bounds of my freedom. Sometimes you have the ability to do things, but you don't really do them. In my 4th year, I finally realized just how much I could do and how much I could really enjoy life. So I would take trips out to see Molly in Lansing almost once a month, I went out on the town on Thursday nights, I met new people, I tried new things. I embraced the life that I was given and learned to enjoy every second of it.
And it was an enlightening experience. Because of my new lease on life in 2011, I got to know one special guy that I had known for awhile, but never really got to know. Kevin. Kevin and I met in fall 2010. We had a Nursing class together...back when I WAS a nursing major. We were actually in the same group for our big project because our last names were close (and the teacher assigned them by last name). Through that time, I never really got to know him, but he was there. Abijah knew him through ITS so we invited him to parties and he always made me laugh. He was invited to my birthday party and came to bring some major entertainment. Later in 2011 for my Christmas party, we finally sealed the deal and began dating. This upcoming Monday will be our one year of being together. I ended my 2011 with a new relationship and some amazing memories.
|Fun times with friends old and new :)|
I started 2012 with new ideas with how I wanted to run my life. I faced some demons that I had been haunting me for years. I basically pushed some people out of my life that I sometimes regret pushing, but it happened. But I also welcomed the renewing of relationships some old and some that I never thought would be possible. I added another set of people to my friend group through the addition of Zac Sanborn, someone who opened my eyes up to many new things.
The summer after this year, I gained a new job experience that I have had much enjoyment out of these past few months. I became an RA! Sara was in need of someone, and I had applied before, so after the interview process, I was hired. In June, I began my work as a mentor and friend to many different students all over the building.
|Molly and I on Shopping day!|
As I look forward, in the next week I will finish exams for fall 2012 and begin another year here in a couple weeks. This next year brings graduation in May, a date that I am anticipating and scared of at the same time. May 5th, 2013 will release me from the chapter of my life that I have been safely in for 5 years. I will be out there to the world and well...all of it's unknown ways. That piece of paper they hand me on this day will include all that I have talked about and remembered. It will show that I have worked my butt off for a small slip of paper that will take me farther than I could ever imagine.
It's interesting what life does to people. It's interesting how my journey to get to May 5th has had many twists and turns along the way and how much work it would take to get there. The journey of life is a beautiful thing, and has so many lessons ans triumphs along the way. But it's here...and that is just crazy to me.
Enjoy some of my favorite moments from the past few years: