#MyGraduationWas: Torrance Winder

By Torrance Winder

My undergraduate experience wasn’t all cookies and sunshine and Tier 1 Aramark experiences. There was a time that withdrawing from school was an option I considered. I went through quite a bit physically, mentally and spiritually. And It wasn’t until this post that I actually sat back and was really able to marvel at the strength that I used to make it to that day under the oaks.

Days Before:

As I put my liver through the ultimate test during senior week, I thought about how much I was going to miss these people who annoyed the hell out of me for all these years. People who had become more like family in such a short about of time. I went from having the idea that I didn’t need new friends as a freshman, to have a bunch of brothers and sisters who legit made sure I was taken care of during my darkest hours. There was a ton of reflection done during senior week. I just knew I was going to cry on graduation, but I didn’t want to admit it.

Day Of:

This day was one of the first times that I allowed myself to appreciate and celebrate my accomplishments. It was one of the first times that I sat back and took in all of the hard work I put in to get to this point. I remember sitting on the lawn and feeling nothing but joy. I wasn’t sad I was leaving like I thought I would be. I was thrilled. No more homework for a while? No more all-nighters? Yes. Please sign me up. My family was there and so was my best friend. I don’t think I could have been blessed more on that day. I was so full of gratitude.

Days After:

That’s when it hit me. That the people who I grew to love were all going to separate places in the country. For example, my Line Brothers, who I saw everyday after we crossed, who became like my real brothers, were spread all over the country. It hit me how much support they and everyone else actually gave me in the midst of all the trash talking. I realized that this new journey would consist of me putting all that I learned through my journey to the test.I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but after everything I had been through, I knew anything was possible.

So…. if I had to pick one word. #MyGraduationWas... Affirming.

My Advice: Believe in yourself. Don’t allow everyday obstacles to keep you from excellency.

Photo Credit: Danny Sellers