Anna Maria Locke

i did it!

My first year of grad school is OVERRRRRR!!!
I am so. excited.
Tonight I've been cleaning up the wreckage of the past several days.
Laundry, kitchen, books and articles...

This is what it takes to write two research papers and a thesis proposal:

(note pencil to add scale to the stack of ARTICLES in the righthand corner! I READ THEM ALL!!!)

I have come so far this year and have learned so much.
It's ridiculous. My brain is too full. I can't look at the world the same way anymore.

This year has gone fast, I guess, but it's definitely been long. I was so busy this semester in my own little scholarly bubble that I feel like I kind of missed out on spring! Where did this warm weather come from???

It's been a great school year, but definitely full of changes.
Moving all by yourself halfway across the country is hard!
Good changes though.
I don't know how I would have handled this transition without Ben. It has been indescribably wonderful to have him only three hours away, to be my boyfriend, best friend, and family all-in-one out east. And knowing that he is only a drive away to be there for me has saved my sanity. I can say this with certainty because last year I lost it.
I have grown up this year. A little bit :)
When I read my journal from last year, I can barely recognize myself. In a bad way. My senior year of college was successful on the outside, but emotionally and mentally shitty on the inside. 
I was dealing with a long distance relationship, internship + 2 on campus jobs, too many hard classes and activities and responsibilities, AND trying to figure out my life and apply for grad school. 

On graduation day all my friends were freaking out, but I felt the biggest sense of relief that I have ever experienced, like a huge black cloud I'd been enveloped in all year was being blown away, and I was finally free to move on with my life.

And moving on has been amazing.

So if you are still in college, struggling to grasp with the scary concept of graduation and the real world, know that life doesn't end after you put on that robe and walk across stage trying not to fall in your little heels. Yes, you will miss your best friends desperately and have beautiful bittersweet memories, but the world goes on and will offer you great opportunities if you are brave enough to take a chance. It is scary, and it is hard, but it is so worth it.

Life is just beginning.