Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Happy Tuesday, paper people!

This past weekend was a momentous one, and if you follow me on my instagram @zoejadedm, you might have guessed that I graduated from college! I graduated on Saturday from University of Denver with degrees in History and French, and I completed an honors thesis.

Also, Madeleine Albright was the commencement speaker. Madeleine. Freaking. Albright.

It's fine, I'm not obsessed.

I'm not crying - you're crying.

I've thought about what I wanted to say about graduation, and how truly amazing it is that I had the opportunity to not only go to college, but to thrive in college. I think about all of the amazing experiences I've had, the people who inspired, supported, nurtured, and challenged me, and all of the knowledge I've gained over the past four years and I am so inspired.

There is a lot I want to say, but I mostly want to just say thank you. Through all of the emotions and feelings that I felt in the weeks leading up to graduation, and especially on graduation day, the one resounding feeling that permeated throughout everything was gratitude.


I am grateful for the educators, especially my thesis advisor and my favorite French professor, who made me love learning again. They pushed me to do things I would never have done on my own, like applying for research grants and traveling to foreign archives to do thesis research (like, what?!).

I am grateful for my parents, who not only helped me through the stress and chaos of college, but supported my every decision from studying abroad in France to deciding to major in French to dropping out of my sorority. They are the real heroes in this. My gratitude for my parents is unending.

My cousins. They're so beautiful.

I am grateful for my family, my aunt and my cousins, who were constantly cheering me on and encouraging me.

I am grateful for the outstanding history faculty at the University of Denver. Seriously. I could not have had better professors, mentors, and fellow nerds to make me love history as much as I do.

Jaser and I at the Gold Dinner - about a week before graduation.
I am grateful for my friends, especially Jaser, my first and most steadfast friend at DU, and Aric, my darling Aric who is my best friend and the most mischievous, earnest, funny, and real person I am honored to know.

I am grateful for the beauty of the place I have called home for the last four years. The trees that provided solace in times of distress, the comfy benches where I could spend hours reading, the tranquil pools and picturesque buildings that will never fade from my memory, the brick paths, the library and the overwhelming scent of coffee that greets you when you first enter, the historic (and probably haunted) halls of Mary Reed.

I am grateful, most of all, to the four most formative years of my young life. I have failed, succeeded, and most of all learned in the whirlwind of DU. For that, I am so grateful.

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