The Big Day: Graduation Recap

May 3, 2013 was one of the best days of my life. The whole weekend was one of the best weekends, in fact. It was right up there with the weekend that Louie and I got married. See, I can now officially call myself a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Kearney!

The weekend was filled with family, friends, food, and good times. Here are a few photos I wanted to share.

I landed in Nebraska on Wednesday night to…snow. On May 1. Oh well, it felt so nice to be back, even if spring didn’t cooperate! Thursday was crammed with visiting so many people I care about: my dear friends Melissa and Nate and their two munchkins, my contacts at Family Resources of Greater Nebraska, and my professors at school. I smiled my way through HyVee in Grand Island (quite possibly the best and friendliest grocery store EVER, and sorely missed), enjoyed the ride through the small towns and farms on Highway 30, and got to ask my professors some questions that had been on my mind. That afternoon, I got to reconnect with some classmates as we goofed off at attended graduation rehearsal. My two big take-aways from rehearsal: Do NOT lose the card with your name on it, and also, don’t worry, everyone thought the National Counselor Exam was the worst thing that ever happened.

My family arrived in Kearney just in time for the College of Education Award Ceremony. I was thrilled and honored to received the 2013 Outstanding Mental Health Counseling Student award, and to be there to accept it from my department chair. This isn’t to brag, but rather to thank everyone at UNK for their support and respect the past few years. I wouldn’t have accomplished half of what I did without their support and help.

CoE Ceremony

That’s my department head talking about some of the work I have done. If it wasn’t for her (and some others), I wouldn’t be up on that stage.

I barely slept on Thursday night. I think I was worried about somehow losing my card for graduation the next day. Regardless, we all made it to Kearney on time for the ceremony.

Ceremony Start

Here we are entering the auditorium, cards in hand, and no hoods yet!

UNK Graduation

This was UNK’s biggest graduating class in its history. While I’m proud to be a part of that, I also feel bad for my family having to sit through it. UNK did well at keeping it under 2 hours, though!

Hooding

 

Unlike my Master’s graduation at Penn State, Master’s students at UNK get hooded by faculty. This was pretty meaningful, as the hood really signified the achievement of earning a higher degree. Having faculty help also ensured that our hoods were not askew for the entire ceremony, which happened at Penn State. (Earning a Master’s degree does not necessarily mean that you can dress yourself…and I was one of the casualties back in aught-seven.)

IMG_4567

Finally, the ceremony ended and I got to hug my sweetie! And my family, although I don’t know if they’re cool with putting their photos on the internet, so you’ll just have to imagine that part. Thank you to Louie and both of our families for their support over these past few years!

Saturday rolled around and it was party time! My very kind in-laws hosted a reception at one of our favorite restaurants in Grand Island. The visits from very dear friends and even a few professors made the day! I was too busy chatting to take any pictures, so I’ll leave you with this:

Cupcakes

Graduation cupcakes!! Too bad I couldn’t take any back to Louisiana with me!

Thank you to everyone that has helped me over the past few years in achieving my goal of earning a degree in counseling. It has been a wonderful trip so far, and it’s only just begun!

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2 thoughts on “The Big Day: Graduation Recap

  1. Congrats!!! It must feel so good to be done with this part of your career development. As counselors, we’ll never be done learning, of course. But at least now you can focus on doing what your degree prepared you to do!

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