by Sammi M.
As I sit here anxiously waiting for Friday evening to roll around, I can’t help but stop and reflect on the past few years and how I’ve gotten to this point in my life. It dawned on me that everything that I have encountered or accomplished has played a part in getting me to where I am now, about to receive my master’s degree in Literacy.
When I grew up, I always wanted to be a pilot. I loved planes and flying, so I wanted to make a job out of it. However, as I progressed through school, that dream faded and a new one shined brighter. I wanted to be a teacher and make a difference for kids. Little did I know at the time that that decision would lead me to the perfect college experience and the best friends I could ask for. Oneonta was where I wanted to spend the next 4 years of my life.
I was never the straight-A student. Sure, I did well but like many others, I also had my fair share of struggles. I excelled in the education program which made one thing even more clear to me: this was where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to be in the classroom helping young children succeed and learn.
Spring 2015 came quicker than I ever would have thought. It seemed like just days before that I was a scared, little freshman staring down at my schedule while trying to find my way to Fitzelle Hall for my first college class and now here I was getting ready to graduate. It didn’t seem real. As I sat in my student teaching placement grading 1st grade math tests, I was thinking about what my next step would be. Through much debate, I figured out that I would go get my masters and then enter the education field.
A month or so later, I received the news that I had been accepted into the UAlbany Literacy Master’s program. I was overwhelmed with happiness. To say it was challenging would be an understatement, as I’ve already shared. This semester was even more stressful. The two days of class, lesson planning, and paper-writing seemed suffocating at times. However, I now realize how it was all worth it. I’ve made it through it all and am getting ready to graduate on Friday evening.
My brother was just one reason I had to be successful in school. I wanted to make him proud because even if he wasn’t physically here, I knew he would be proud of me. I graduated high school without him there and I was okay because it wasn’t so real yet. Then, the days leading up to Oneonta’s graduation 4 years later, I got a little sentimental. It was another life event that my brother wouldn’t be there for. It wasn’t easy but having the family there that I did made it easier. Now, here I am getting ready to get my masters and I can’t help but think about how he won’t be sitting with the rest of the family in the stands. 7 years and 3 graduations later and I still have the same thoughts. I know he’s with me in spirit but nothing could compare to him physically being there.
“It’s one of those moments, it’s got your name written all over it and you know that if I had just one wish, it’d be that you didn’t have to miss this. You should be here…” – Cole Swindell
After 19 straight years in school from kindergarten to graduate school, it’s time for me to stop being the student and become the teacher. With graduation quickly approaching, I can’t help but be thankful for everyone that has been there or supported me throughout this journey: my parents, boyfriend, cousin, family, friends. The list goes on and on. This isn’t just for me; It’s for everyone. Cheers to the future and everything it has in store.