Oh, where do I begin...
Yesterday, my husband Kyle and I "officially" graduated from Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois! We actually graduated early at the end of the semester in December, but yesterday we became officially official as we walked across the stage and received our diplomas. What a beautiful and memorable day it was!
My time at Illinois College as a student was probably unlike most... But my time at IC was most of all fulfilling, humbling, and full.
Throughout my college years, I wore many "hats" as a nontraditional student... As a full-time student attending IC, I majored in Communication & Rhetorical Studies and minored in Art, worked three jobs, started a business, got engaged, married my high school sweetheart, traveled out of the country for the first time, plugged through classes and three different internships, presented at an undergraduate research conference, adopted a puppy, photographed over 50 weddings, made lifelong friends and fostered relationships in the Jacksonville community, put thousands of miles on my car(s), spent precious free time with family and friends, and only managed to miss a handful of days of classes and maintain a 4.0 GPA.
I tell you this because while my experience was different from many other students, I would never change it. My college years were amazingly fulfilling and exhilarating in both my personal and professional life.
I can without a doubt tell you that I would not be where I am today - an entrepreneur and creative running my wedding and family photography business - if it weren't for my time at IC. I truly owe my success to my husband, family, friends, and professors for pushing me to work my hardest and believing in my crazy wild dreams!
Yesterday, as Kyle and I were surrounded by our family, friends, fellow classmates, and professors, I could not help but feel supported and thankful for this beautiful chapter of our life. While it's finally hitting me that IC will no longer be our "home" and merely a place we visit, I will never forget our almost four full years at Illinois College.