Today I am over a year through a Masters program, and I will graduate in May. This means that in a five year span I'd have graduated highschool, college, and graduate school. That's a pretty impressive task, if I do say so myself. Especially for all that happened along the way.
My freshman year started and my boy was sent to Germany. He remained stationed there for over two years, and deployed out of there in the winter of my sophomore year. My freshman year was typical of a very depressed, lonely girl. I drank too much, made bad decisions that ultimately came to pass and everything is okay. I didn't realize at the time that I was forming friendships, because at the time it just felt lonely and sad and scary. I was kind of a mess.
Then sophomore year came. I was rooming with a friend from band. That was great. I had officially been with my boy for 2 years and seen him all of 88 days (yes, I counted). We got engaged just before he deployed to Afghanistan. Shortly after our engagement, I began my study abroad adventures in Spain (see: beginning of this blog). In the two weeks between getting engaged and studying abroad, I was raped. I did nothing. I did not press charges, I did not go to the authorities. I left the country and tried as hard as possible to forget. I couldn't. I didn't. The damage was done and was real.
When I returned from Spain I immediately decided to graduate the following May, meaning I would earn my bachelor's in three years. I played this off to everyone who asked about it as though I only wanted to be with my boy. But honestly, that was not part of the discussion. The discussion was that I did not feel safe, that I did not feel home, and that I did not feel okay being at that university longer. I don't know why I didn't transfer. Honestly, I never even thought about that. I talked to my boy and a few friends and everyone was supportive and loving. I did not tell my family until just months before my graduation. I don't know why, but I didn't. When I did, they responded with more love and support than I could ever imagine. Everyone has. I have since opened up a lot more. I am not ashamed about what happened to me. I am proud of how far I have come. I am strong, and I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by friends and family who have helped me see that every step of the way.
I got through my final year, was accepted into my Masters program, and moved to South Dakota. I started my masters degree almost right away, and my VISTA year three months later. Today, I have graduated college Cum Laude, I have completed 4 semesters of a Masters program with a 4.0, and have begun my counseling internship. I am in the midsts of writing my thesis. I am very proud of the work I've done and how far I have come. I have made amazing friends along the way, and I couldn't ask for a better support system. Life, it seems, is looking up. It always does eventually.