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Posing with my husband, Brad, after graduationI graduated for the first time ever yesterday and it was amazing!

I never graduated from high school. I got pregnant my junior year and dropped out of school and got my GED. I Started at Georgia Tech two years later with toddler twins and took classes for three and a half years but never graduated. I started back to school again at UNL in the fall of 2009. This time I had a plan and I was more motivated than I have ever been. Two years later I have my diploma in hand. I have a BS in biochemistry and I'm headed to grad school at Vanderbilt in a couple weeks. It seems a little surreal still. Here's the recap of my graduation weekend.

My parents flew in from out of town on Thursday to see me get my diploma on Saturday. I ignored them Thursday and made them stay in a hotel because I had a final that afternoon and my hardest final ever Friday morning. My Friday morning final in P chem felt awful but in hindsight, I still got to graduate so it must not have been that bad. Friday afternoon the biochemistry department had a recognition ceremony and my parents got to meet all my biochem professors. It was a lot of fun to bridge that gap and quite entertaining from my perspective. After the department reception, we went to the elementary school for the Elders Day celebration. I got to see both Maxwell and Zara present things they had written to the class and then the whole school put on a book parade.

Graduation was Saturday morning and it was awesome. I wore my favorite Hawaiian dress and flip flops, no heels. I was lonely when I first got to the graduation venue because I realised that with over 2000 graduates and being in alphabetical order by college, I might not be by anyone I knew. With this in mind, I decided to make friends with the guy in front of me in line, a math and geography major, and luckily enough, the guy right behind me, Nick, was a fellow biochem major. The guy behind him, a meteorology major, had almost as many kids as me and the four of us all had fun chatting it up. We certainly had a lot of time to talk since we were the last group to enter the basketball stadium. We sat in the very last row of graduates. I was one of the last ten people to get my diploma. Fortunately they had a jumbo screen showing the stage or we wouldn't have been able to see anything. I'm sure graduation was long and boring for a lot of people. I got there at 8:20am and didn't leave until after noon, but the time flew by for me and every minute was enjoyable. Maybe not graduating until you're 31 really lets you appreciate it that much more.

I'm lucky enough to be married to a very wonderful man who tried to throw me a surprise party. The party was awesome  but since the five year found out about it, it wasn't exactly a surprise. Although Zara let the party slip after knowing about it for only three hours, she managed to keep her slip a secret for the two days leading up to the party. I guess she felt the penalty might be greater for that one. I wasn't about to let anyone know that I knew because then I would be expected to help get the house ready for the party. I really enjoyed all the bad acting on the part of my family trying to keep it a secret. They are so sweet.

The party was great and wonderful friends kept showing up throughout the afternoon. I finally got to have a double bounce war on the trampoline with friends. I guess I should have chosen more uncoordinated friends because Nate and Justin both had trampoline experience and I ended up falling instead of me making them fall. And of course since it was such a beautiful day, the party degenerated into a water fight that had dry people fleeing indoors followed several minutes later by dripping wet people. It was a great day. I had friends at my house for over six hours. It was a wonderful way to say goodbye.

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Reader Comments (2)

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