Today is the day I would have walked in graduation to receive my B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics and minor in Biological Sciences. After six years of school, I have officially graduated Summa cum laude, highest honors.
I began this journey back in 2014. I reflect on the past 6 years of my life and I am so, so proud. This is the greatest accomplishment I have achieved in my lifetime.
I am the first person in my family to go to college; my grandparents never finished high school and my parents entered the workforce at 18 years old. As a first-generation college student, the odds were stacked against me, but I took it as a challenge rather than using it as an excuse.
I recall all of the tears, the all-nighters, the moments of self-doubt; being diagnosed with a major bladder disease, and having to take classes while I recovered from multiple surgeries. Despite the countless times I wanted to walk away and give up entirely, I kept showing up.
I pushed myself beyond what I thought was possible. I earned highest honors and finished my degree on the Dean’s List. I took upwards of 19 credits a semester while working a part-time job and training in the gym 15+ hours a week. I woke up to train at 4:45 am, went to classes until 3:15 pm, and worked 4-11pm. Sometimes I would sit in the gym parking lot after my shift, so that I could submit my assignments that were due at 11:59pm.
I gave up nights, weekends, and summers. I added multiple areas of study. I took upper-level chemistry (orgo :/) & biology courses, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and exercise prescription. In my final semester, I took 6 classes that doubled in coursework when the coronavirus forced education to move online. On top of that, my graduate courses started last week, amid finals of my undergrad & I added (yet another) area of study: Wellness.
Am I writing this post to brag? No. If it reads that way, sorry not sorry! I have never worked so hard for anything in my life and I am damn proud of what I have achieved in the past six years!
I’m not stopping anytime soon. Next up: M.S. Dietetics!