I have the tendency to stress. Even as a second grader, this atrocious anxiety over school was present on Thursday nights before spelling tests when I would launch into tantrums when I didn’t ace my parent-given-practice tests. The last few weeks, those leading up to my college graduation on May 14th, have incited some of the most pain staking stress I’ve ever had to deal with. Papers, thesis complications, exams, and deadlines—these last minute details have boggled me with work.

But that doesn’t matter. I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t be stressed because, that’s right, I’m too blessed.

And should I need to prove it, I’ll give my amazing girlfriends as references. See, in the last four years I’ve made my share of bad decisions. I’ve befriended the wrong people, fast friends that were even faster to stab me in the back, and I’ve argued and fought with people who I vaguely remember now.  But through it all have been those wonderful people who can only be the good, homegrown variety.

Heather, Tiffany, Ali, and Ashley—we might not have been as close as we are today these last four years, but I feel like I’ve opened my eyes and found that the most amazing, intelligent, and beautiful people in my life were the ones supporting me and loving me from the very beginning. If I didn’t appreciate that as I should before, I definitely do now.

Liz, Ankita, Amy, and Brittany—I love that I have you in my life. You add so much flare to the things you do, that I can’t help but shake my head at you and get silly myself. In a week—let’s hope, anyway—I’ll have a piece of paper that tells everyone I have been given an education. That might be true, but some of my best lessons and best moments come from time spent with you, not spent in my room tirelessly working towards that paper that is to be hung in an overly priced frame.

Wonderful ladies, know that I’ll always be there for you—when you fall, when you need a shoulder, when you need a laugh, or when people turn hateful words on you. No matter where I go in life—Chicago or back to Elizabeth Street—you girls are mine, and for that I’m so very blessed.

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