The One Where I Graduate

IMG_9952At the end of this week I will officially be a college graduate. It seems unreal that I will never have to take another class again. It has been a long journey to get to this point, but it has been fun and well worth it.

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Kindergarten Graduation

When I started kindergarten, it was very clear that me and school just did not go together. I knew I had to go to school, so I forced myself to go everyday. As I got older I started to not like school even more. Besides the fact that I did not enjoy the work, I did not enjoy the drama either. The girls in my grade caused a lot of drama. I quickly became closer friends with the girls in the grade above me. They were my brother’s age. There was just something about the girls in my grade that not many people seemed to like. Thankfully, I had made some great friends in my brother’s grade. The down side to being friends with the kids that are older than you is when they become freshman, you are stuck in the eighth grade. Eighth grade was one of my toughest years. There were mean girls and endless amounts of tears. I was so relieved when that year was over.

Finally, I had made it to high school. I was back in the same building as my friends. I had a great freshman year because on the first day of school, I met a girl, Brittanie, who became my best friend and is still my best friend today. During my freshman year, my mom and I started talking and we decided that it would be in my best interest to graduate a year early. I met with our school’s counselor and got enrolled in my first round of summer classes. I took one class that summer, and two electives online as well as my classes at school my sophomore year. The summer before what should have been my junior year, I took four online classes and had my first part-time job. That was definitely the most stressful summer of my life. There were nights that I was up until one or two in the morning, but I was not alone. My amazing mom would stay up with me to encourage and help me finish my work in time. When it was time to go back to school, I was officially a senior. I got to skip being a junior. My senior year was my best year yet. I had a great group of friends and we were always together. I was enrolled in mostly junior level classes, but I was also enrolled in senior level english and economics which put me in the same classes as my friends. I finished all of the required courses I needed to graduate. At the end of May 2014, I walked across the stage, alongside my friends, and received my diploma one year early.

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High School Graduation

I got a break that summer, but that fall I started right in on college classes. My original major was education, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. Well after some job shadowing, I decided that although I love kids, I did not want to do that for the rest of my life. After my freshman year in college, I changed my major to business management with a focus in marketing. This was a great major for me, I loved, loved, loved my classes. I wish I could say the same about my professor, but that is another story. After taking 72 college hours, I can now say, well, on Friday, that I am done with school forever – hopefully.

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College Graduation

Through my 15 years of school, I have learned so much about myself. I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to, no matter how hard it may seem. Graduating from high school one year early is hard to do, but throw in dyslexia and it becomes even harder. I never let having dyslexia become a burden. I powered through with the help of my family and God. IMG_9936

-Natalie Ponder

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