Graduation years in the making

It’s hard to believe. It’s hard to believe that my time here at Missouri Southern is almost over.

I began my “non-trad” journey in 2014, setting the goal of completing my undergrad degree that I had been working on for so long. For many, getting a degree simply means getting a job. For me, my goal of graduating college is something more.

In my immediate family, I’m the only one who has been to college. 

I’m the only one in my immediate family within spitting distance of finishing my undergrad. I don’t say that to sound arrogant or condescended, but more out of pride. College may not have been in the cards for my mom, dad or sister but for me finishing something I started 14 years ago is very important to me personally.

Everything I’ve always done was focused on one thing: helping people. When I enlisted in the Army in 2005 that was my goal: helping people. In every job I have had since I had the same goal in mind: helping people. 

And now, being close to the finish line, I want to take my communications degree to do one thing: help people. 

In a video Jim Carrey made in 2015, he said, “The effect you have on others is the most important currency there is.” Let’s think about that for a minute. Whether we realize it or not or intend to or not, we all will have an impact on someone or something at some point. 

We are not all here by accident, we all have a purpose. And for some of us, it may take longer to find that purpose than others and that is okay.

For those of us who are nearing the finish line, we have one strong push left. We have made it so far and accomplished so much to get to where we are: all-nighters, 3 a.m. homework sessions at the Waffle House, sitting through some of the most boring lectures imaginable, the never-ending, unrelentless group-work projects. In spite of all this, we are nearly there.

For the underclassmen wishing it was them nearly to graduation, enjoy the time you have. All too soon, it will be time to put to use the knowledge gained from the last several years of study.

Now, I want to single out certain people: Rhonda Clark – my first adviser and teacher at Southern. Rhonda has a wealth of knowledge and I still enjoy visiting with her when I can. Judy Stiles – for showing me that interviews can be fun and helping me hone my interviewing skills in just a few months. Olive Sullivan & Shanna Slavings – for letting me sit in your offices and vent frustrations.

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.