This is the best picture of achievement that I can come up with and it’s powerful because me and the person that has been connected to me since birth – my mother – is in it . I graduated from Baker College of Jackson in June 2014 with an Associate Degree in CAD/Design. It is a small college but the turnout to the graduation was much bigger than I expected (at least that was with two branches of Baker combined – Jackson and Coldwater). This picture taken with my mom symbolizes everything she hoped out of me – to become successful and live a good life, getting the best out of this world, not letting anything get in my way. I had never felt so happy and excited when I walked up onto the stage to receive my degree, in front of a packed house of graduates and their eager families. The buzz in the air that night was amazing. I kept thinking to myself, “I’m a college graduate, the first one in my immediate family, and I have something to be proud of.”
It was something to be very proud of. I worked hard to earn that degree. Showed up to class everyday even though sometimes I felt like it was no use since the work was kind of lame and we were often let out of class early. But taking a challenge to learn something new is my victory from that college. I still have no job from earning the degree, but am thinking about going for my Bachelor’s sometime next year, maybe in the same field, maybe not, depends on my present interests.
Receiving that rose I have with me in the photo also uplifted my spirits to uncharted levels. It symbolized hope and a breath of new life, that I had succeeded, had beat out the pack. A victory rose. I felt like clenching it in my teeth but that would have looked silly. It smelled and looked so good at that moment. I felt like a champion for that one night. Being a part of a large group of graduates (only 4 in my field though) made me feel special.
The best part about my graduation from college? People actually clapped for me this time, unlike my high school graduation where I was one of the last to graduate (seated in the very back row) and when my name was called all I got was one rather loud and sarcastic “woot” before I received my diploma placeholder, got my picture taken awkwardly, and went behind the curtain. I felt rather disappointed and heartbroken that I didn’t get the round of applause I was hoping for, but fast forward four years later and I suddenly felt a lot better. But life didn’t stop there though. I have to keep pushing myself to achieve new things. To leap boundaries and prove that I can do anything I set my mind to. My third graduation should be even more exciting. To make my family and everyone else around me even more proud of me is my crowning achievement.