I am in that big crowd somewhere....there were almost 800 graduates from the UW Bothell campus but I think something like 12,000 UW students graduated over the weekend. They held the big graduation in Husky stadium on Saturday and over 40,000 people attended. Now that is a big graduation. I was excited to actually graduate at the Seattle campus since I started there after high school. Mike and I met when we were both students (he was the weekend cook at my sorority).....I ended up not finishing my degree in the 80's but will finally finish at the Bothell campus on August 22nd.
I actually got to sit next to my good friend Kristy. Our daughters have been friends for about six years now and she went back to school about the same time that I did.
The day really meant a lot to me. When I was a student out of high school I really didn't have any motivation for school. I was in a very BIG university and was completely lost. I was having a rough time back them with self esteem and school just made it worse. I wasn't doing well academically and this really made me feel like a failure (even though in retrospect...crazy thoughts). Deep down I wasn't career oriented but wanted to be married and a mom. When I met Mike my life completely changed for the better but I still was unhappy with school. I decided I needed a break....not realizing it would be that big of a break. My life turned around at that point for the better, marrying the man of my dreams, supporting him with his dream of earning a PhD., living in British Columbia for 7 years, giving birth to the most wonderful girls, moving back to Washington, starting a decorative painting business, volunteering for PTA, Girl Scouts and all those mommy jobs. The one area I still felt insecure about was my education. Since I was floundering back then my GPA was not that great, I was very motivated to prove to myself I could do better. I enrolled at a UW satellite campus three years ago since I didn't want to drive the hour it would take to go back to Seattle. Plus, the class sizes were much smaller and I knew this would be key to my success. I actually will be graduating with a degree and half worth of credits;) My first day back to school three years ago was SCARY....I literally prayed the whole ride there and I am surprised I did not throw up. I sat in the class just panicking and all those yucky self esteem issues came back. God was so good and encouraged me with peace and love. I made it through my first class and received a 3.9. I was totally shocked but ecstatic. Each class I was less and less nervous and I slowly proved to myself with work and determination that I could do this after all. I still have 3 classes to finish up this summer but my grades in the last three years have averaged out to be a 3.89. My overall GPA is much lower since they combined with my earlier UW grades but in the end I have put those ugly thoughts about not being smart enough to rest.
If there is something holding you back from fulfilling your dreams or a demon to conquer from your past....take it from me.....you can do it! And it feels so good when you do!!!!
With my grandma....
My wonderful family....Joe the youngest (who started Kindergarten the fall that I started UW in 1985) he graduated from Seattle Pacific University 6 years ago, my dad (another UW alum), me with my mom and finally on the end my sister, who graduated from Washington State University 9 years ago.....I still love her even if she is Coug;)
Reminiscent of our first kiss which I received from Mike at the very same campus (at the front door of my sorority) 20 years ago this coming October.
The three people who put up with me the most over the past three years. My husband and editor man as well as the daughters who let me nap in the afternoons after pulling the all nighters.
To put this all in perspective of how long this has taken me, I graduated with one of my flower girls at our wedding. Mikaela on the right was the youngest flower girl at 4 years old and her sister, Brittany, on the left was only 6 when we got married. I actually had Mikaela in one of my classes and that made me feel really old;)
Here I am with the same girls 17 years ago...Mikaela is the one with her finger in her mouth.
It was special for me to graduate but it really meant a lot that I could set this example for my girls. Now they know that they can do it too.....even if it takes until your middle aged.
After the ceremony my parents had a little party (also to celebrate Father's day and a few family birthdays).
It was actually my mom who did the beautiful party....busy day for her but she made it so special!!!
My sister (the Coug ....husky state rival) bought me the alum sweatshirt, wrapped in purple and gold and with a husky card. She said it was really hard for her to do but she made an exception just for me;)
The family pitched in and got me the most amazing present. This is the camera I have been wanting for a while now. They didn't even know I had been longing for this exact one but that is what they picked out. Totally excited!!! Hopefully this won't distract me too much this summer;)
My aunt Sue with my grandmother........
Even the biggest husky fans I know interrupted their Father's day fun to say hi and congrats....that meant a lot to me since Jay, on the far right (remember the wedding last summer)
, was also my ring bearer at our wedding all those years ago.
Finally my dad......
....even though he had to share Father's day with me I think the graduation was a pretty neat gift for him too. I am the oldest daughter and only child for nine years. I was the first to start college but the last one to get her degree. I remember walking around the same campus with him as a little girl when he got his accounting degree from UW in the early 70's.
It is never too late:)