Op/Ed: Graduation: A long journey comes to an end


karis Stephens

A Journey comes to an end.


A long journey filled with changing paths, trials and tribulations and lasting memories will be coming to a close on May 8th, 2021 when I finally cross the stage and receive my diploma. I can hardly believe it. While this has not been easy, I can say now that I am writing this the last week of my college career here at West Texas A&M University with a greater appreciation for not only my education, but the growth I have made since stepping foot on this campus.

I cannot write any further without giving an immense thank you to my mom, dad, sister and family. Seeing the growth of myself throughout the years, a quiet and timid individual who made the decision to be the first to pursue a higher education at the university level. My parents continued to instill in me throughout my college career that they always had my back even when the tough got tougher. I can say with complete confidence that this would not at all have been accomplished without their guiding hand down this path.

It however has not been all sunshine and rainbows. There has been many days and nights rushing to the hospital, late night studying binges and not to mention COVID-19. While these are just some of the things that I have been through while attending university and continue to go through, the voice of my parents saying, “every time you are trying to do something good the world will throw everything they can in your way to try and stop you,” rings in my head and continued to push me to the end when I myself didn’t believe I could make it.

I came to college not only for myself but for my family. Being a first-generation graduate comes with a lot of stigma and pressure around it being seen as a “cookie cutter kid” or privileged when it is not that at all. In fact, it is to show my younger cousins, sister and family that while yes, this by far has been the hardest thing I have done in my life. While I struggled doing it first I am hoping that I instilled in them to look at education as an option and do bigger and greater things than I have done in my life.

The road less traveled is a hard one however from the friends, connections and diploma I am soon to have earned, I can say that WTAMU has helped shape me into the person I am now. While it may not be perfect, I was pushed, molded and failed but have gotten up and now the time has come to finish off this chapter and continue onto what the future has next.

Thank you Mom,Dad and family for everything. It means more to me then you all will ever know.


Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.