God willing, I’ll be graduating in a few weeks.
I’d like to leave behind some inspirational piece of advice, but I’m drawing a blank. I have nothing profound to say, so please excuse me as I reflect upon the past five years.
I registered for my first semester of classes with the dream of being a nurse. I was in an unhealthy relationship that I thought would last forever. I didn’t speak up for myself or anything else. Most days, I wanted to be invisible.
Almost five years later, I’m on the verge of a graphic design degree. I speak out in my classes and boldly share my opinions. I have worked through all sorts of emotional issues, and I am finally enjoying life.
There are bad days, but for the first time with certainty I can say, “I’m happy.” I credit a large portion of my happiness to Troy.
Don’t get me wrong—Troy University has made me throw my hands in the air and say words that I’m pretty sure we can’t publish. Paying fees for a recreational center that I’ll never see? Spending half an hour looking for a parking spot? Those things are frustrating.
However, Troy University has also helped me grow into the person I am. Going from a small, predominantly white public school to a university full of diversity has opened my eyes to the world and many important social issues. Troy has made me realize that I have a voice. More importantly, it made me realize that my voice matters.
Over the years, this school has given me the opportunity to do some pretty awesome things. I’ve met a designer who was featured in a Netflix documentary. I shook the hand of a Medal of Honor recipient. I have met so many incredible people from every walk of life, all thanks to Troy.
It’s easy to take our school for granted. It’s easy to say there’s nothing in this small town. But this place has changed my life.
To everyone I’ve met over the past five years: thank you.