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One Last Post

By Alexandria Erin

May 6th2018

 

As I zipped up my gown and grabbed my cap, I didn’t feel stressed or rushed for the first time all week. The end goal for the past five years was 45 minutes away from beginning and I was ready. First section, row three was where I sat for the commencement ceremony.  I had been to graduation before, but this was the first time I was under the lights with front row seats for the graduation speakers. It was my graduation, what I had been persevering towards for five long tedious, spectacular years.

 

As many of you readers know, I began at the sister school in Hawaii, Chaminade University, playing for their Women’s Soccer Team. Unfortunately this dream was short lived as I got a head injury that sent me into a state of change. This change brought me to The University of Dayton Ohio (UD).

 

I had never been to Ohio before, so it was a bit of a transition as I grew up half in Upstate New York and half in Rutland Vermont and moved with my family to Jackson Hole Wyoming in 2011 where I took my gap year half in Jackson Hole and half on the Big Island of Hawaii.

 

With that being said, I wouldn’t have traded the past five years of college for anything. There were so many hurdles, so many set backs and so many challenges, however, it has made my graduation even more important and special because of everything I have overcome.

 

The University of Dayton has given me so much. I gained sisters and mentors through Kappa Delta, life long friends, more people to look up to and learn from than I can count on my fingers and toes combined, my boyfriend, the opportunity to travel the world and experience 12 different countries through my study abroad with Semester at Sea (fall 2016), and the opportunity to heal from some of my past and from the devastation of my head injuries (as I got a concussion which resulted in a second more minor injury my sophomore year at UD).

 

I learned what perseverance really meant when I was told I should drop out of college by one of my neurologists because the statistics based upon my recovery rate and consistent neurological reforming showed that it was impossible for me to make it through the stress, and difficulty of classes and college life. I wouldn’t have grown in my relationship with my mother as strong as I did with out college as she was the person who fought the hardest for me to stay, talked on the phone with me everyday, kept me going when I couldn’t go any farther, cried with me, laughed with me and constantly reminded me of why I kept going through all the pain, frustration and set backs.

 

College is something I will always be proud of, and most importantly the path that lead me to be a Flyer for life. It is something I will cherish, remember, and love for the rest of my life. This is already one of my favorite chapters in my life, as I look back on how The University of Dayton stood behind me and allowed for this success when I was told I couldn’t, I shouldn’t and I can’t – but I did.

 

I wouldn’t have walked and received a diploma this past Sunday May 6th2018 with out my professors, my advisors, my counselors, my administrators, my bosses, my priests, my co-workers, my roommates, my sisters, my friends and my fellow Flyers. Thank you everyone who made helped me along the way, cried with me along the way, laughed with me along the way and said yes to my success every single day. I am so blessed to have had my path bring me to UD, because I cannot imagine any other way I would have wanted to tell my college story than it ending with my colors being Red and Blue and my Diploma saying – University of Dayton Graduate.

 

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