And this is how it ends.
Today is graduation. I've completed 2 years of classes in the AA-S Photography program; 2 years of hectic photoshoots and classes that I either loved or hated, 2 years of my life taking all my classes in the same building... 2 years of countless and amazing memories that I'm sad to leave behind.
The friends that I've made have been some of the greatest, weirdest, and most creative people I've ever met. Abby and I met over winter quarter last year, where we proceeded to learn that we are possibly the same person, and that maybe we were switched at birth (except for the fact that she is far more physically talented than I am). We have literally finished each others' sentences before. To truly understand our friendship, all you would have to do is go through the photos on my phone from the past year and a half... but those are embarrassing, so I'll just tell you that Abby is one of the coolest people I've ever met, and I'm so glad to have made a friend like her who shares so many of the same interests as I do.
That's the best part about going to school in a program with a group of people; they are all doing the same thing you love to do! Photography has brought all of us together in such weird ways. I've discussed before with James and Abby that if we all met in high school, we would have had nothing in common and we all would have probably hated each other. Photography brought all of us together and allowed us to make friends with people we normally wouldn't expect.
To Steven and Richard: I met you guys this year and you are both the last 2 people I expected to become friends with. You are both the complete opposite of me, and yet we all get along so well, even if you all just make fun of me all the time. :) That goes to Mo as well, I never thought the "freshly born giraffe" jokes would come back to haunt me, but you made sure they did! Mo knows how to make everything fun; I'm glad we're friends and I wish you were staying this summer! Mark: I'm sorry that I broke out of my shy little shell I was stuck in in the first quarter, and I'm sorry that Abby and I make you want to have a brain hemmorage at times. You are proof that age doesn't mean anything in terms of friendship and someone who knows how to have fun. Abby and I will always be your "babes"! Cassie, who will always be our momma bear: you've gotten me out of so many close call situations that I've lost count. Thanks for always having our backs, being supportive, fixing our last minute panic problems, and convincing me to dye my hair. To a few of the first year girls that I met that I wish I would have gotten to hang out with more; Jasmina, Emily, Taylor, Clare: You girls are always having fun and always laughing and I wish I could be more like that sometimes. You're all always fun to spend time with! Especially to Jasmina: 80% of the laughs I've had in the past month have been with you, and I'm so fortunate that you always know how to make me giggle in inappropriate situations where you most likely shouldn't laugh. Colton: I remember when you were in my Nature and Landscape class in the fall, and you were so talented and quiet and all Abby and I wanted to do was make friends with you. I wish we would have all started hanging out sooner, but I'm happy we got to have some fun times with you this year! Are you SUUUUUREEE you have to leave for the summer? Topher: you are hands down the most positive person I've ever met in my whole life. Honestly. Whenever I need some positive energy I know who to contact! You're laugh makes me laugh and I've never seen someone eat so fast in my life, aside from Abby. :) To James: last summer with you and Abby was the best summer of my life so far, all of our wolf pack memories are some of my favorites and if I'm being 1000% honest, I wish our friendship was as awesome as it used to be. Nick: I miss your lectures on life you used to give Abby and I at 3 AM, and I miss our sarcastic conversations and most of all I just miss our whole "Fhoto Family" hanging out 24/7. Fay: never did I ever think I would hear any swear words come out of your mouth, but hearing you swear is one of the most hilarious things I've ever heard. Can you please not move to California? I'm gonna miss you so much!
To everyone else I've met in my 2 years in the photo program that I didn't previously mention: you're all just as awesome. I could write for forever about all of you. You've all shaped and changed my life in a way that I could have never gotten anywhere else. There's something special and magical that I can't quite place words on about the Photography program that is one of the greatest things I've ever been a part of.
Finally, to my professors over the years (well, all 3 or 4 of you): you've all taught me the most invaluable skills I could have ever gained to supplement my career. Without you, I would still be shooting on Automatic mode and adding selective color and heavy vignettes to everything. :) You were all fantastic, but extra special thank you's have to go out to Erik Sohner. Words can't describe how much I'm going to miss seeing Erik's face everyday in class and in his office. He has been supportive of everything we've ever done, given us the hard truth and honesty about everything, has laughed at all of our stupid jokes, as well has his own stupid jokes, and has turned in to our "Therikpist" whenever we needed him to be. He put up with so much crap from especially Abby and I and has still been the most helpful person in the world. You can text him at 10 PM and freak out about print sizes to him and he'll be there to assist you. I can say with 100% conviction that Erik is the best teacher I've had in my 15 years of school. Erik, I will definitely be back once a week to sit in your office and bug you about my insignificant life issues.
I'm not ready to fly the coup. I wanna stay in this program forever; I want to keep learning and growing and creating more memories. The photo building has become my second home and everyone there has become my family. I don't have any biological brothers and sisters, but all of your guys are the best filler for that I could ever have. Just know that you all have impacted my life so much, and I owe all of my thank you's for the best 2 years to you guys.
Today I'm going to walk across a stage in a horribly ugly cap and gown for a really expensive piece of paper that says I'm good at something. And that piece of paper is the thing I care the least about from the past 2 years.