2010 was a monumental year. I turned 23, made dean’s list, moved to Scottsdale…but what stands out is my accomplishment of graduating college. After five years at the University of Colorado at Boulder I finally earned my degrees in Political Science and Studio Art & Art History. I LOVED school, so much that I took summer classes three years in a row and added a second major half way through my sophomore year. Graduation was the most triumphant time in my life; I had succeeded in so many ways and I felt as if I could conquer ANYTHING. College tested my emotional, mental and physical limits and challenged me in ways that words cannot describe. But it was by far the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had the opportunity to have. During these years I embarked on a journey to discovering who it is I am as a person.
My dream school was the University of Colorado at Boulder, often described as the Harvard of Colorado, Boulder is a liberal town that’s nestled up against the dazzling flatirons.
The city transforms into a college town from August through May with the influx of out-of-staters arriving to enjoy the College Experience. CU Buffs are a proud breed: even after an athletic loss our sense of glory persists, pulsating through the city night after night. If anything, the gorgeous campus is a conduit for our pride: sandstone structures with Terra Cotta tile roofs unify the buildings, mimicking the daunting rock faces that overlook the campus.
During the summer Boulder returns back to its eccentric state; the locals reclaim the city as the vibe eases to a slower pace. Summer is most enjoyable and you cannot miss out on riding Boulder Creek Trail, what I like to call a super highway for bicycles; one can get from North Boulder to South Boulder faster on bike than by car (city planners purposely set it up this way) on the Trail (which is actually a paved path running along side Boulder Creek and travels under streets, through Boulder City Park, and to the nature preserve). Yes, Boulder and its residents are a unique breed. It truly is a world of its own.
I flourished in this town, just as my parents and aunts did, and as my sister is doing right now. Each semester I grew as a person and I faced the challenge of juggling unprecedented amounts of reading, assignments and art projects. Because I chose to double-major I had a diverse body of work to maintain. As a political sciencemajor I would write anywhere between three to six papers a week, complete weekly quizzes and mandatory 25-page papers up to three times a semester (per class). For my studio classes we had to complete a project every two weeks; our bi-weekly 2 1/2 hour classes allowed for brainstorming, leaving the execution of our work for outside of class.
To be successful one had to squeeze every second of productivity out of every waking moment. And succeed I did.
May 7, 2010. I woke at 6 am in anticipation of graduation, surprised by the dusting of fresh snow on the spectacular Flatirons. After meticulously applying my makeup and stepping into my graduation dress, I zipped up my black graduation robe, grabbed my cap and sash, and click-clacked my way down the stairs to my ride. I stood tall, proud and felt more accomplished than ever before.
The ceremony was delayed an hour due to the tardiness of the Chancellor–he was stuck in a traffic jam caused my a rolled semi and six-car pileup–and we buzzed around in anticipation with our respective schools out on Norlin Quad. Finally it was show time. We lined up and proceeded into Folsom Field for commencement.
After the main ceremony I had two small ceremonies to attend for my degrees: the departments of Art & Art History and of Political Science. Upon hearing my name at the Art commencement ceremony a surge of energy pulsed through me, I smiled and looked down the line of professors awaiting to embrace and congratulate me. These were the individuals who challenged me to grow as a person, a scholar and an artist. I am forever in debt to these distinguished scholars for molding me into the person I am today.
I did not want my tenure at CU to end; this was the day had been both anticipating and dreading since I walked into my dorm the first day as a freshman. Graduation is a definitive example of a bittersweet moment and was my biggest accomplishment in 2010; something I am comfortable with acknowledging I will not be able to top in 2011.