I was supposed to graduate from college today, but things in my life have changed. I took a different path, one I didn’t expect to take when I started the college endeavor.
If I did, then I might have actually donned a cap and gown today.
But things didn’t go as planned.
If I can remind myself of anything today, it’s that this was all for a purpose.
At this college of mine that I’m not graduating from, I made life-long friends, discovered my passions, and even grew a bit as a person.
Now, today, I carry those amazing facts inside of myself. I know I would have loved to finish and graduate from an amazing school, but my life took a different direction than I ever anticipated.
Ultimately, I decided pursuing my passions was more important than pursuing my four-year degree at a place that maybe wasn’t my best fit. That’s okay.
It is way more than okay.
I am happier now than I might have been if I’d stayed on the same path. Instead of walking across the stage with the people I started college with, I’m working toward my dreams with more veracity than I would as a post-grad student.
I have grown more as a person taking a fifth year at a different institution, going down a different road than I ever did in the years I spent at my other school.
And in my fifth year, I will get to grow even more.
Then, I’ll take off. After my fifth year growing in confidence and leadership, spending time in a job that will better my resume and earning a degree that will make me valuable, the world will be mine.
Not saying the world wouldn’t have been mine if I did graduate today.
No, it would have been. Eventually.
But not the way it is now.
Things happen for a purpose. I honestly believe I’m not walking across that stage today so that I can actually achieve my purpose, and get to spend more time reaping the benefits.
If I had graduated today as I planned, I may not have gotten to this point I’m already at (which, let me remind myself, is amazingly successful in the scope of my hopes and dreams).
I may not have become fully and wonderfully me.
So on the day that could have been my graduation, if I can tell myself one thing, it would be this: today you aren’t graduating, and that’s okay.
And that’s because everything has worked itself out more magnificently than I anticipated.
Life is truly wonderful, and eventually I will get my cap and gown. But I don’t need that moment to define my success.
I’m proud of myself for where I’m at now, and this success of confidence and goal-reaching is something my college diploma would never give me.
Here’s to my fifth-year and all of the achievements coming with it.