So, this morning I was driving back to JMU from home. Judge me, I went home to get my hair cut before graduation. Anyways, while I was driving back, I ended up following behind a Loudoun County (my high school) student, headed I don't know where. I thought it was funny, though.
Here I am, driving back to JMU for my last Friday class here and I'm following behind a car with a sticker of the place that got me to where I am. As much as I disliked high school, and couldn't be paid a million dollars to go back, looking back, I've been able to learn a lot about myself after having left a place that helped shaped my future.
In exactly two weeks, I graduate from a place that has truly shaped the person I am today. I started freshmen year as an education major, only to switch to business within the first two months. Mind you, that was after much debate about switching to other majors, such as English and a different education focus. I spent countless hours on the phone with my mom deciding what was best for me, only for her to tell me it was my choice and she'd support me no matter what. After changing my major to Management, I had no clue what I actually wanted to do. But, here I am, four years later, eager to graduate and continue my education in Human Resources.
It's crazy to think of all the steps I've taken to get where I am. I may not have a stellar GPA, but boy have I learned. I learned a lot about the heartbreak from being away from your family. No matter how strong a person is, at the end of the day a hug from mom is the only thing we really want. I spent days at JMU wishing I could've just gone to a commuter school up in Northern Virginia just so I could be close to my family every day. I spent days wishing I had gone somewhere farther away, somewhere not so close to my past. And of course, in between those days, I spent days smiling because I couldn't imagine myself any place better.
I learned a lot about friendships and relationships. I learned that those who want to be in your life will make the effort. Those who care about you will show you, even if it's in the smallest ways... those ways fill your heart the most. I learned that it's OK to let go of those toxic relationships, if only to better yourself. I learned, through observance of many different relationships, the one I want to be in when I finally find the man I want to marry. I learned a lot about being alone, and understanding it's important to figure out what makes you happy before you can ever make someone else genuinely happy. I learned the importance of networking and making connections that can help in the future, and the importance of maintaining contact.
I learned about growing up. I learned it's OK to make a fool of yourself and give the wrong answer in class. Someone's most likely relieved because they were thinking the same thing. I learned it's OK to make a fool of yourself because you have no dance skills whatsoever, you trip on your own two feet, and you say things that you might regret later. I learned that sometimes, you just have to give up your summer in order to gain real-world experience. I learned that laughter is the best therapy, and that a good cry is equally just as nice. I learned to say I love you to those I care about because you just never know. I learned that life is short, and if you don't have money but want to go on a sushi date with a great friend, do it anyways. I learned my mom is the best advice giver, and my sister provides me with knowledge to an extent she isn't even aware of. I learned my dad will forever be my goofy half, no matter how ridiculous.
I learned a lot, and I'm more than happy with the person I've become. I'm sad to leave such a beautiful place, but ready to take the next step into my future. As I leave the mountains, and head towards a warmer state with Palm trees and Cactus, I know that JMU will forever be home. I will look back and know that this is where I found myself, my passions, and my drive. Thank you, JMU, and all you crazy people who have supported me through every step of the way.