Graduation 2013 – M. A. in Counseling Psychology

The day started out extremely early. I had decided to get up at 5:45 a.m. in order to make sure I had plenty of time to get ready. I was scheduled to be in the “lineup” at 9:15 a.m. I was so excited while getting ready. It probably sounds silly, but I seriously felt like I was getting ready for prom or my wedding again.

I spent time carefully putting on my makeup, doing my hair, and putting on my dress. I chose this dress from Modcloth.com. I wish I had taken a picture of me in my dress, but I was in such a hurry getting ready that I didn’t have time. By the time I was adding the finishing touches, it was already 8:25 a.m.! We were supposed to meet my parents nearly 20 minutes away to pick them up.

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I totally had my hat on backwards in that pic…womp, womp. Knowing how to put the hat on isn’t required for the degree, right? I found out a little later after we got to the college and someone kindly pointed it out to me.

My husband drove like a mad man to get to our point of pickup for my parents. But when we got there, we circled the parking lot at least three times and couldn’t find them anywhere! Finally, they pulled in and anxiously got in the car. They had also had a slow start this morning.

After arriving, my husband dropped me off at the “lineup” destination and the rest of my family was off to find their seats. It seemed as if it took FOREVER while we were standing there waiting for the procession to start. I actually chose shoes about a size smaller so they would stay on my feet better. But still, they were a little loose and were not fitting very snug, which made me feel really nervous that I might fall while on the stage.

As the final people got lined up, I became even more anxious as I realized how far we were having to walk to the building where the graduation was being held. Apparently, the college had a long-standing tradition that graduates were to walk along the Alumni path in route to the graduation. The path was almost a quarter of a mile long…

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So, I did what any upstanding, college graduating, Kentucky girl could do. I totally took my shoes off and walked the whole way barefoot! Best. idea. ever. One of my colleagues even followed suite! That’s us, bringing the rear in all our barefooted glory!

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Once we arrived to the building, we all filed in. Of course, the Graduate class was in the back. By the time I got inside the crowded auditorium, the butterflies in my stomach were swarming at full speed!

I spotted my family off to the side right away. My Dad (in perfect Dad fashion) gave me a Captain’s salute and I felt my eyes well up with tears. I spotted my Mom, Husband, and In-Law family right beside them and locked eyes with all of them, beaming. How did I ever get so lucky to have so much support and love in my life? With as much love and pride I know they all have fore me, I knew this was as much their day, as it was mine.

After a long-winded older gentlemen gave his speech, which consisted of many stories and words of wisdom about life and careers, it was finally time to start calling us up on the stage. I waited very impatiently while they called name after name. After what seemed like an eternity, it was finally my turn to step up to the stage. And everything went according to plan!

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The rest of the day was spent celebrating with my family. We had a wonderful dinner together in celebration. I have to say a special thanks to my wonderful family, friends, and colleagues who have been there with me the whole way. It has been a long journey, and I am so blessed to have had so much support along the way.

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– Lou

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