Four years ago, I graduated college.
My story is a little different than most. I “graduated” in May with the Class of 2011. However, I wasn’t fully finished. Because my desire to study abroad in Australia was more important than finishing college on time, I took a ninth semester. Looking back, I never regretted any part of this decision. During that semester, I only had student teaching and one class to focus on. No sorority life. No crazy roommates. No fun senior events that I had to miss out on. It all worked out well.
Thinking about where I was back then and where I thought I was going compared to where I am now is strange.
Then: I was single, living in a one bedroom apartment with my cat and living life to the fullest that summer. For real, though, I was having the time of my life. [insert winky face here] I was prepping for student teaching, but I didn’t even know if I truly wanted to follow the path of being a teacher. I was actually looking into traveling back to Australia to work. I even had a couple of nanny jobs that I was thinking of persuing. The travel bug had bitten, and I wanted to follow it.
And then it all changed.
Now: I’m married, with two cats and a step-daughter. I am teaching first grade back in the district where I was student teaching. I live in small town Illinois. Sometimes we even talk about babies. That’s right- BABIES. I’m relatively happy with my life, but have faced and overcome many challenges in four years. Challenges that I never expected.
But that’s life for you. It’s kind of funny that way.
I love reflecting on who I was then, and who I am now. I’m stronger. I’m confident. I’m successful. And I’m still growing and learning. I’m like a first grader in some ways.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised in these four years with my life. And I look forward to looking back again in another four years. Here’s to growinng up!