/I can’t believe I did it.

On Wednesday, I submitted my final paper of the semester and completed my classwork, and my first year of grad school. I’m still in disbelief that I’m actually done and don’t have a pile of homework waiting for me in the background that I’m ignoring. I also kind of can’t believe that I actually did it. My shitty self-perception has tricked me into thinking that everything I try to do, I won’t accomplish; and if I do, then it wasn’t that big of a deal in the first place, or I just got lucky. But this…feels like a pretty big deal, and the bags under my eyes and fragile mental stability tells me that I didn’t just get lucky. There were a lot of sleepless nights, long days, and sacrifices made to get me to this point. I’ve worked my ass off pretty consistently since August, between working my 50 hour a week job that often follows me home and doing graduate school coursework on top of it. This is a big accomplishment, completing my first year and officially reaching the halfway point. Dare I say I’m…proud of myself???

There are a lot of people behind me that I couldn’t have done this without, either, to be sure: friends who gave pick-me-up talks, ice cream and alcohol; family who made me smile; coworkers who helped me with assignments. It takes a village, and my village is pretty amazing. My cousin who is in the program with me was a solid rock for me when I honestly didn’t know if I could push myself forward anymore. I know she’s celebrating just as hard as I am.

I know these next four months will fly by, but I’m going to try to enjoy every second of freedom before August rolls around and we’re back killing ourselves with classes and journal articles. This next time next year, I will have a Master’s degree, and that is absolutely crazy to think of. The celebrating that will occur when that happens will be insane. “I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up, my friend.” Cheers!

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