October 25, 2019

I Graduated College!

Posted in: Personal, UCF Grads

I’m sitting here replying to a bunch of emails about Fall UCF Grad sessions coming up and I realized I never shared on the blog that I graduated college! I walked across the stage and officially became a UCF Alumni on August 3rd, 3019.

Thanks to my step dad, I’ve wanted to go to UCF basically for my whole life. I’ve been going to football games with him since I was only 2 years old and he got me hooked! In fact, UCF is the only school I applied to my senior year in high school. If I didn’t get in, I knew I’d go to a community college for two years then go but I sure knew I wasn’t going anywhere else. After 9 longs months of being on the waitlist, I got in the day after I graduated high school. The fam woke me up to tell me the news (you can find the video by clicking here and scroll to the end!) I cried real tears.

This was at orientation the weekend before school started! My first apartment was right across campus at a place my mom called The Taj Mahal LOL. The first floor was all shops and restaurants including Insomnia Cookies so we stopped there and gained a pound each I’m sure from those delicious things.
I had some awesome roommates and one of them, Margaret, texted to meet up with me for lunch the first day of school because she knew how anxious I was about it all. I’ll never forget this lunch we spent together and me thinking she was heaven-sent. Margaret, if you’re reading this… Thank you. I love you!!
Ryan and I were long distance for about half a year. That meant nightly Facetimes. We never missed a day and I’m tellin’ you – I lived for these Facetimes with him. I knew basically no one, was working 35 hours a week at Publix getting home so late, going to school and readjusting my whole life, missing my family and especially missing Ryan. I’ll be honest, the first semester of college for me was rough on my mental health. I went from everyone knowing me, being in marching band having so many friends and seeing Ryan every day to having no friends near me, no club to be part of and not seeing Ryan for weeks at a time. More happened that is a little personal but Facetiming with my mom and Ryan really kept me going. I really appreciate the time they took out to hear me rant about everything and cry about the tiniest things.

I joined a Christian sorority, Theta Alpha my third semester and loved it. I had found a home and lifelong friends I was looking for. It was a community that understood me and shared the same values I had.

I almost dropped out a handful of times because I knew I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to grow my business and expand on my passion. I didn’t want to work for anyone else and boost their dream when I had a big one of my own. Again, thanks to long phone call discussions with my mom that consisted of me crying hysterically saying, “I’m gonna quit! I’m dropping out!” She assured me I only had a little left to go. It would fly by. And it did. I changed my major 3x and landed on Human Communication. Am I using my degree? Ehh… a little. But at the end of the day, I’m proud to say I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the university I’ve always wanted to attend.

After shooting everyone else’s grad sessions that semester, I saved mine for last. It was like the most humid day of the year and it started to rain a LOT after 30 mins. I was a sweaty mess and definitely didn’t get to hit all the places I wanted to on campus but the photos still turned out pretty well! Ryan took these to practice… I know…. He’s an electrician and certainly not a creative at all but like LOOK AT THESE!

Grads, I highly recommend getting this bottle popper glitter thing from Walmart! $5!
Schitt’s Creek anyone? It’s only the greatest show on planet Earth. It had to be part of my grad cap. DAN LEVY even commented on my Insta pic of this!
My bff, Big, Roommate, sister… whatever you want to call her. She’s a blessing and had to be part of my grad session.

It was a long and stressful 4 years and it’s so weird to say I’m a UCF Alumni… now it’s time to take off those parking stickers from your car, Justine. It’s over😆


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