Commencement: noun, the ceremony of conferring degrees or granting diplomas at the end of the academic year.
Commencement also means: an act or instance of commencing; beginning.
(definitions are from dictionary.reference.com)
This coming Friday, while attending the commencement ceremony, I will also be commencing the next phase of my life. I can wholeheartedly say that I completed an amazing journey, met amazing people, and learned amazing things over the last five and half years. At times the road was rocky and I sunk to some pretty deep lows; facing the disappointments of the people I hold dearly after flunking several classes in my second year, or the fall of 2010, when I was forced to take a medical withdrawal which set me back.
But I also reached the highest highs; the epiphany I had halfway through my third year hit me like a ray of sunlight on a cloudy day. I finally knew why I was at a university and what I was going to do with the opportunity at my feet. Higher education is a blessing, especially when neither of my parents were able to go to college, and I vowed to earn my degree for the sake of my parents and my future. My outlook on my entire education changed with that epiphany. Everything I’ve learned in school or because of school has been safely stored in the most cherished place in my soul. My education is one of the things that defines who I am.
As I look back at what I have accomplished and look forward toward things I have yet to accomplish; I am amazed at what I see. I want to leave you with two final thoughts:
1. Our limitations do not bind us; they serve as checkpoints on the path to reaching our true potential. Do not think you can’t do something. Instead, accept the challenge and you just might surprise yourself.
2. We can see the future, it is called our dreams. The path will be uncovered by our actions. Don’t let other people dictate your aspirations, the belief in yourself is a very powerful thing.
My life will change on Friday, December 14. I will be graduating with a degree. No one can take that away from me. No one can take it away from you either; it’s a huge accomplishment.
Thank you to everyone who has been reading these posts. Thank you ASI. Thank you to all my classmates and friends. Thank you to all my professors, advisers, and mentors. Thank you California State University, Sacramento. Thank you for changing my life in ways you will never know.
I appreciate it.
This is not goodbye. You will see me again and I will always remember your impact on me.