Degrees, Back Pats, and Flowers

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This past weekend I graduated with my Master in Public Health degree! Last time I graduated I didn’t decorate my cap and I was so envious when I saw others creatively decorated caps pop up on the jumbotron. When my friend (pictured here) and I put on our Masters graduation gowns, we felt so goofy (look at the sleeves on a gown for master degree here!). We joked that we felt more like wizards than scholars. From there is where the inspiration for our caps (above) came in. We are both HUUUGE Harry Potter fans….so these gowns were quite fitting. I also must add that on my big day, the camera zeroed in on my cap and I was featured on the big screen!

For the duration of my graduate studies, I wasn’t really impressed with myself. A Masters Degree? That’s nothing significant. Others are out with great jobs or traveling and here I am just going to more school. That’s what ran through my head. When I graduated this past weekend and felt the support of my wonderful family and friends…it hit me. I am 23 years old and I have a B.S. and an M.P.H. That’s awesome. Lesson: Take the time to be proud of yourself for whatever you’re doing and stop comparing your progress to others. You are doing something remarkable in your own way and your success and significance can only be measured and evaluated in your head. So pat yourself on the back, smile at yourself in the mirror, and know that whatever you are doing right now in life is right for you. And hey–if you don’t feel that it is right for you for whatever reason, recognize that you and only you hold the power to change that, and it may only take slight tweaks to certain areas of your life for you to feel at peace.

Lastly, take time to smell the flowers. Literally. I am sitting next to a vase of gorgeous flowers from my mom, dad, and brother, and I am so scared that I will wake up tomorrow and they will be wilted. The fact of the matter is, when you cut flowers to put them in a vase, they will die. So put your cell phone down–that text can wait–and peel your eyes away from the tv (I’m basically talking to myself right now) and shove your nose in those flowers.

Cheers!

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