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As Graduation Approaches

This will be my 3rd family USF graduation.I have mixed feelings about graduating from the University of South Florida (go BULLS!) next month. Not strange feelings, but just trying to decide whether I should be happy, elated, or just proud of what I’ve accomplished.

The two main sides I’m coming from are:

  • It’s no big deal because thousands of people graduate from USF alone each semester, yet I’ve been here for 39 semesters if you count summers. Many more go on to graduate school and even get PhDs.
  • I’ve got cystic fibrosis, so even going to college is a big deal, let alone getting started with a full-ride, getting my A.A. and starting a career, getting married, buying a house, and starting a home-based business and going to college to finish my B.A.

I’m extremely proud of how much I’ve busted my butt for the last 9 months, taking 31 credit hours to wrap up my senior year… even if it started 12 years after I was initially accepted to USF in 1997.

You see, I was raised with two warnings about my post-high school life: 1) you will go to college and 2) we don’t have money to send you, so you’re going to get yourself a scholarship. Get it, I did. Lose it, I did, also. I dropped out to get a job that had its own insurance because I couldn’t stay on my parents’ health insurance as an adult.

One job lead to another, and another, and another… until I finally got one that could be considered a career. I stayed 3 years, getting promoted twice into the highest level my position had to offer. It was enough money to get married and buy our first house.

I left for a top position at a start-up, but when that didn’t work out 5 months later, I opened the doors to my own company (building sites just like this and doing graphic design) and have been doing that since February 2, 2009: Groundhog’s Day.

In August, I signed up for 17 credit hours, including Spanish 1. I’m up to my neck in my last 14 hours with 3 weeks left of my college career, and I’m dang proud of that, I suppose. It’s just shameful that other people graduate in 4 years, including Beautiful (from USF, also).

This is going to be one humongous monkey off my back.


  1. I'm so proud of you…can't wait to watch you graduate!!

  2. Hey, Baby!! Congrats on your first comment ever! Thanks for doing that
    for me; it means a lot.

    I can't wait to see your face after the ceremony.

  3. You should be Happy, Elated AND Proud!
    Great accomplishment!
    Wishing you lots of luck in your future success!

  4. Thanks. I guess being tri-polar isn't too odd in today's world. I might as
    well give it a shot and see how I like it.

  5. Good on you Jesse – It seems lik yesterday when you decided to do this. What an accomplishment. You will have a huge weight off your shoulder when the day comes. I am sure it will take a while for it to sink in that you have your BA. all the best from New Zealand.

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Murray. Yes, last year doesn't seem that long ago,
    yet forever at the same time. You're welcome to watch the ceremony podcast
    on May 6th – well, 6:30am on the 7th for you. 😉

  7. Cool on the ceremony – Are you podcasting it here or is the Uni?

  8. The USF site will broadcast:… Graduation is the
    Friday evening before Mother's Day for my major.

  9. Way to go Jesse! I predict that after graduation you'll rattle around for about a week wondering what to do with all your new-found free time. Then you'll fill it up and be almost as busy again – but not quite.