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graduation celebration 2016

On April 30th 2016 at 9:30 in the morning, I officially graduated from Florida State University.

It has taken me four years to get to where I am right now. Four years of uncertainty, happiness, nervousness, laughter, tears, and sighs of relief. Four years of questioning everything. Four years of trying to figure out where I fit into the world. These past four years have been the best, and the sometimes the worst, times of my life.

I'm not going to pretend like graduating doesn't scare me--because it does. Though my Facebook pictures and posed Instagrams highlight the happiest photos of a smiling me, inside I feel some mixed emotions. Tallahassee has been my home away from home for quite some time now. I consider this place a key factor in challenging me to grow as an individual. I learned how to live on my own for the first time here. Starting out in a teeny tiny dorm was my first step in becoming an adult. I learned how to get around town without a car. I actually learned how to cook a few things (after several unfortunate incidents!). I joined some amazing magazines at Florida State that helped me realize how much I love to write.

On the flip side to all the wonderful things I have encountered during my time in college, I also learned what failure felt like. I concentrated so much on my high school career that I figured college would be sooo easy. The rude awakening I got during freshman year made me rethink a lot of things. These set-backs made me feel like maybe I wasn't good enough for college. I was able to reevaluate my decisions and eventually I got back on track, but not without a difficult struggle to feel like I could be successful once again.

I also figured out another part of my life that I never thought existed until college. I discovered that I suffer from anxiety. I started to recognize the fear I have of large groups of people, the fear I have of social interactions, and the fear I have of talking to authority figures as symptoms of something that could be considered a mental illness. Having anxious feelings while in college can make school more difficult. Some things I did to cope with anxiety were arriving super early to class to choose the best seat and wear a watch so I could keep track of how much time was left in class. I dreaded class presentations, and luckily my Econ major lacks giving those! Over the past few years I've realized that having anxiety means I need to keep trying to overcome the obstacles it forces me to face head on.

Another major event in my life that made me look at things through a new perspective was with the loss of my Grandmother. In April of 2014, she unexpectedly passed away at 85. Some people are never that close to a grandparent because of distance, but my Grandma grew up with me. She lived in my childhood home with my sister and I for most of my life. She drove us to school, picked us up from school, cooked us dinner, and repeated that pattern for 18 years. She was always around and I never thought she would ever leave my side because when you are young you think everyone will always be there for you. She did so much for me and I know she is proud of my accomplishments. I loved her so much and I really wished she could have seen me walk across that stage on Saturday. I wore a gold ring of hers that had two hearts to symbolize her presence.

College was fun. College was rewarding. It the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. I am so thankful for the people I've met along the way (especially my wonderful roommate, Jessica, for her everlasting support!) and for the people who have stuck by me for many years. I am so glad I am finally at a point in my life where I can make new choices and start a new path.

So where will my path take me? I'm currently trying to figure all that out! To those asking what my immediate plans are, I have to tell you a simple "I don't know yet". I see myself in fashion. I see myself working at a magazine. I see myself as a writer, a social media guru, an employee of Her Campus media. For now I'm going to keep sharing my outfit posts onto this blog as a navigate the future of Affordable by Amanda.

Thanks for reading all of this. I hope to continue posting college advice because I think I may have some more tips to write about!

1 comment

  1. Congrats Amanda on graduating! It's it just the best feeling ever to be done with undergrad?! :)

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