College Graduation!

As of today, I am officially a graduate of the University of Maryland!

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My school had one big commencement ceremony as well as individual ones for each school. I opted just to go to the business school’s ceremony since both in one day would have been too much. My parents, sister, and aunt and uncle came for the ceremony, which was from 5:30-8pm, and we went out to lunch beforehand.

I intended to wake up early to get in a workout beforehand, but I’m still feeling under the weather with a cold/sore throat so I slept in until 11. I made a smoothie for breakfast then spent a couple hours quickly straightening up my apartment since I knew my family would be seeing it.

My parents picked me up at 1:30 and we headed to a local seafood restaurant for lunch.

My sister and I (she just finished her sophomore year at Duquesne University and is staying in Pittsburgh for the summer):

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I ordered a salmon and scallop salad that was delicious:

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My mom, dad, and sister all got mixed seafood platters, which I was a bit jealous of! I ended up stealing some of their seafood πŸ™‚

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Overall this restaurant had some of the best seafood I have ever had! The crabcakes and salmon were my favorite.

Afterwards the waitress brought out a dessert tray full of little cakes and pastries that reminded me of the bakeries in France. My sister and I both ordered desserts:

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It’s always interesting when you’re with a group of people trying to decide whether or not to get dessert. I am definitely a dessert person, but it depends on what they have and who I am with. Normally I would only get desserts when I was out with my friends or sister at PF Changs (the Great Wall of China!) or Cheesecake Factory (cheesecake obvs). But when I started reading food/health blogs last year I got jealous of all the dessert pictures, and when I went to Charleston with my parents in March 2011 I insisted on ordering dessert every night. (Note: this would be the trip that I figured out I could indeed eat more than 1500 calories to maintain my weight–once I came back I upped it to 2500 and never looked back.) I joked that this ensured my dad would always want to bring me on vacation, because he has a sweet tooth too but my mom rarely eats sweets!

We also split 3 bottles of Chardonnay among the six of us. It was some of the best white wine I’ve ever had, but I was definitely a little tipsy heading into graduation!

Graduation itself was fairly boring–I’m pretty sure most are! The most eventful thing was that in the rush to line up beforehand, I dropped my stole…then when I was running around looking for it, the tassel slipped off my hat. At the time I was really upset about this and was close to tears (this may have had something to do with the wine) but I managed to keep it together and ultimately it wasn’t that big of a deal. And the good news is that I found a tassel in the parking lot afterwards, which I immediately snatched up and attached to my cap. So now I’m just on the look out for a stole!

Afterwards we went back to my apartment so I could send some stuff home with my parents and show it to my aunt and uncle, who hadn’t seen it yet. They have a friend whose son might be interested in subleasing my room for June and July, which would be awesome since I won’t be around and it’d be nice to get some rent money back! Then we said goodbyes and with that they were gone and I was graduated.

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It was strange saying goodbye to my aunt and uncle and realizing that I won’t see them again until Christmas most likely. And I’ll spent time with my family again in a couple weeks before I move to Ft Lauderdale officially, but that’s the last time I’ll see them until Christmas as well (although I’m hoping that my sister will visit me this summer!)

However I think this is a good step for me to take. I went to my state school about 40 minutes from home (not my first choice but I received a full scholarship) and with the exception of studying abroad last fall, I’ve never lived far from home. I’ve been living on my own for the past two years in the sense my parents’ house was never my primary residence except for a couple weeks between leases, so I have experience with paying my own rent, paying bills, buying groceries, etc. But I was always close enough that I would go home if I was sick, if I had to get my oil changed, if I had a dentist appointment, etc–heck last year when I had a car on campus I would drive home every week just to do my laundry! This year when I haven’t had a car, I’ve relied on my parents to take me to the grocery store occasionally, pick me up when I had doctor’s appointments, provide me with transportation to family get-togethers, etc.

Now I’ll be 900 miles away and I won’t have that safety net anymore–I’ll have to navigate a new area by myself, figure out my own transportation, find new doctors/dentists, take care of problems by myself. Obviously this all becomes a lot easier when I’m moving in with a boyfriend who already lives in the area rather than trying to figure out everything by myself. So in the sense this is the perfect transition: I’m taking a big leap, but I’m not going at it alone. Baby steps into adulthood, you know? πŸ™‚

Question (because I’m trying to be more interactive!): Did you or any of your friends and family graduate this spring? Are you a dessert person at restaurants? What was your first big step in becoming independent?

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