Graduation Day Gratitude

May 21st has come and gone in a blink of an eye. Why does this day stick out in my mind? It’s the day I graduated from graduate school. As far as I know, it was the last day of my formal education. It was a day that was simultaneously exhilarating and kind of completely terrifying.

As much as I am ready and very excited to move on to the next step of my life, it’s scary. Going to school is safe. I mean it’s stressful as hell, but at least you know what you’re up against. Teachers, homework, tests, papers, projects. It is a lot to juggle, especially with an internship through grad school. But I have always been a student. I have always been fortunate to have chosen amazing schools for myself since high school. I’ve learned so much, did well in my classes, and met incredible people.


While reminiscing on the last few years, I came across pictures from a concert I went to last June with my mom and one of my sisters. We went to see Idina Menzel in Radio City Music Hall. The most powerful moment of the night, for me anyway, was when she thanked all those who helped her along the way, and then sang a portion of the song “For Good” from the Broadway show Wicked (one of my favorite songs of all time, by the way). What made this so incredible was that she sang the song without the instruments or a microphone, and of course every single person was able to hear her, even in the last row of the large concert hall. 

The lyrics are as follows:

“I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason bringing something we must learn. And we are lead to those who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return. Well, I don't know if I believe that's true, but I know I'm who I am today because I knew you…So much of me is made of what I learned from you. You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart.”

I remember thinking then how much people have invested in me, and how many people have helped me get to this point. And I realize that same thing now. With graduation right around the corner, it dawned on me how much I am going to miss the incredible people who I have met along the way. The people who have helped me get to where I am today. I am lucky to have a close, supportive family who helped shape me, but I will miss those teachers, friends, and mentors that I am accustomed to seeing on a daily basis. While I am ready to face the next part of my journey, I can’t help but be a little sad that I’m not going to see these new people every day.

I just wanted to thank all those who have gotten me to this point: my family, friends, teachers, mentors, all of whom taught me so much. These lyrics are the best way I know how to even begin thanking all of you. I’m ready for the scary and exciting things that are ahead of me. I am prepared to jump into the unknown and see what I am capable of.

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About Daniella


Daniella is a certified speech language pathologist living in NY. She loves traveling, meeting new people, hanging on the beach, and will read anything she can get my hands on. She is obsessed with country music and constantly quotes Friends and One Tree Hill.

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