I have successfully finished my first year of graduate school! I am halfway to my Masters of Education in Student Development Administration!! Writing that feels weird, so just imagine how I feel when I say it. I have accomplished something I couldn’t have ever imagined, but no accomplishment comes without a long road and a few bumps.
I set out the school year with a plan to blog throughout and to reflect on things as they came, but as this year continued to hit me with bump after bump that became too hard. This has easily been one of the hardest years of my life; maybe even the hardest year of my life. I set out on this journey in Seattle on August 10, 2013 and thought I was ready for whatever I would experience. Oh how wrong I was. From being called the N-word to feeling completely alone in Seattle to being sexually assaulted to my grandma passing away to my friend trying to commit suicide, this year has hit me with an amount of pain that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Let’s be clear, I am not sharing my experiences with you so you can sympathize or even empathize with me but as a means to continue in my healing. To say these things to someone is one thing, but to write them on the internet makes these experiences even more real as they are now permanent.
When I see it all in a list like that it’s hard to believe I am still standing. The truth is there were so many amazing experiences and people who helped me over each one of these hurdles. These bumps do not define me or the time I’ve had here so far. It’s the HRL staff that took me in as family and ensured I would get through it all that has defined my year. It’s the staff meetings every week where my RAs kept me constantly laughing and proud to work with them that define my year. It’s the insatiable amount of love and support I received from my current RD, Christina, that defines my year. It’s the cohort of 24 amazing individuals who challenged and supported me that defined this year. It’s the visit from two of my best friends that define my year. It’s the 300 student leaders that benefited from a 3 day off campus training that I poured my heart into that defines my year. It’s the straight A’s I’ve earned each quarter that define my year. It’s the fact that I, an African American girl who was told in the 9th grade that Black kids don’t go to college, am here pursuing a Master’s degree that defines my year. It’s the fact that my mom, who worked 2 jobs to support us while I was growing up, gets to tell me each week that she’s proud of the woman I’m becoming. It’s these great experiences that define the amazing 1st year I have had.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am still healing from the pain but I WILL NOT let it define me or the experience I’ve had here. This year has been a roller coaster ride, but it has changed me in the most positive way. My first year of graduate school was good, bad, ugly, and beautiful but worth it. I get to look back at this year and say “Damn, that was the hardest time ever but I made it.” This is what defines this year for me. This was the year of resilience, thanks to a dear friend for teaching me this, as I continued to plow through all the hard times. I have come out of this year a better professional and a stronger person. Thank you to those who helped me through it all. Time to get ready for my next adventure which hopefully will teach me just as much as this year.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Dr. Maya Angelou
– Domonique Crosby
Read more from Domonique’s own blog at: http://amireallyagrownupnow.blogspot.com/