I have 10 days until I walk across the stage to receive my diploma from the University of Alabama. Ten days to say my last goodbyes, to take in the moments I won’t have again, and to sit in a classroom for the final time.
As these days pass and I go through my room, packing it up, I find all the pictures that have made up my four years. I can remember the memories that were captured in each picture, but instead of wanting to go back to that moment, it makes me think of how far I have come. I won’t be the one to look back at college as the best four years of my life, I won’t want to return to college, or find myself feeling nostalgic. Some people have those feelings and have the pictures that make them want to go back, which is not at all a bad thing, those people experienced college a completely different way, and for a while I was jealous.
I was jealous I had to grow up faster than some of my peers, that on Friday nights I was at work while others were out with friends, that Saturdays I spent watching the game at Selphi instead of in the stadium, that I dropped my sorority only a year and a half of being in it…I’m not jealous anymore. Looking back at the past four years, I have cried and laughed many times, but mostly I have grown. I have grown into someone who I’m proud to be. Sure, I regret some things I did, but who doesn’t? What I don’t regret, is having to mature differently than others.
No, I probably won’t talk about all the Friday nights that turned into Saturday mornings, because I never lived that, but I will talk about the relationships I have made and what moments in college made them stronger. I will talk about the friends that fought my own battles when I couldn’t fight them myself, that supported me in all my decisions, and loved me when I didn’t know how to love myself. I wouldn’t trade these people for anything. There have been many moments of my senior year wondering what I got from this school besides a degree, and especially this week, I know what I got from it. I got loyal and honest friends who won’t leave me when I’m not easy to love, won’t give up on me when I want to give up on myself, and mainly, will come to the front when I want to hide in the back. I’m thankful this school led me to friends that turn away from gossip and stay silent when one is gossiping and only talk about the good of people, who choose to lift others up, to show the world the Light of the Lord,who don’t put others down so they feel better about themselves, and who find the good in others.
The enemy has put me through darkness these past four years, as I was most vulnerable in these past four years, but the good Lord showed me light through these friends I have found and for that a part of my heart will always remain at the capstone. Without the capstone, I wouldn’t have learned friendship, I would still be finding approval in friends that tear me down instead of lift me up and who ask me about my life just so they can gossip to others, instead of praying for me. I love this school, not for the football or parties, but for the people I found while gaining a degree.
One of my best friend’s showed me a quote “Sometimes He uses darkness to lead us to light” and He did exactly that, but instead of allowing the enemy to win, I prevailed, just with some help by my friends.