I have met many people that have influenced my life and the decisions I will choose to make in the coming years. I dove head first off the high dive and I'm just coming up for air now. My professional life has grown like a wildflower and I've learned SO MANY THINGS. Not only have I learned textbook material but real life lessons I will take with me forever. Probably more personal lessons than course material!
I was fortunate to be blessed with jobs throughout college that gave me more than a paycheck. They were all continual learning experiences I will likely never forget.
The biggest blessing is that I'm walking off that stage Saturday with more than just a piece of paper. My coworkers asked me today what I want for graduation and I said I already have what I want, my job. It's surreal. It embarrasses me to no end talking about my job to those affected by the situation of our economy (jobless). I'm saying that here, hoping this is a safe environment that even if you hate me, you can yell at your computer screen and call me bad names but hopefully find a piece of happiness in your heart for me.
I want to be a role model for those like me. I was an average student in high school raised in a lower-middle class family. Not to mention I am a female engineer. This is what I wanted and I was not going to let anyone tell me no, including myself. If you want something, go get it!
On that note, I have lots of thanks to give this Thanksgiving. I thank the US government for making it possible for me to take out loans to go to college. I thank my parents for everything really, but mostly for raising me to believe college was the only option. I thank them for keeping their doubts mostly hidden and supporting my adolescent decisions. I thank my dad x 10^100 for helping me find my career path and figuring out what I truly love. I thank my friends who supported me and tell me all too often how proud of their little nerd they are. I thank my classmates who pushed me to do better. I thank my adviser and role model who counseled me and watched me choke down tears in her office year after year, talk about an influential person. I thank my work study bosses who put a smile on my face every day, gave me confidence, treated me like their daughter, brought me good food, and listened to me complain about stress. I thank the people who doubted me, because you made me one of the most determined young woman at MSOE. Last, certainly not forgotten, I thank God. I thank him for keeping me company until those 2 and 3am mornings studying. I thank him for giving me perseverance to do what I want and the knowledge to somehow make it through.
Trust in the Lord with all your hearts, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.