Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 marks the day I graduate from the University of Wateroo with a Bachelors of Global Business and Digital Arts (yes, BGBDA… not just a BA). I must say the amount of hard work, determination, tears, and money that went into my BGBDA was worth it. When I walked across stage toward the chancellor to receive my sash, he asked me how my past 4 years at UW had been, I told him “it’s been a wild 4 years.” He then asked me if I’d do it again, without really thinking about it I immediately said “Yeah! Yeah, I would”… the more I thought about my answer the more I thought about the stress I placed on myself on top of the stress I felt came from school, the amount of time I cried because I thought I failed an exam, the amount of times I swore at my laptop while writing an essay, the anxiety I experienced… then I wanted to say hell no! But if I think back to all of the friends I made, the great people I’ve had the pleasure to see everyday, the places I travelled to, the places I’ve worked, and what I learned not only about Global Business and Digital arts but also about myself… going to UW gave me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise had and for that I’m so grateful for receiving my acceptance letter April 22, 2013!
In the car on the drive to Waterloo to attend my convocation, my mom asked me what my highlight would be out of the past 4 years. I told her I have 2. My first highlight would be my 1st year of university. No words can be used to explain the excitement I felt moving to Waterloo, away from home for the first time. I was paired with Tina as my roommate and we quickly became best friends. I made friends with the N1 floor (Village 1 North 1) residence and Tina and I would always attend their floor events. Anthony, my boyfriend at the time, would visit every second weekend and I would always look forward to spending time with him and showing him around Waterloo. Everything was so new and exciting. I had a new found freedom and the chance to explore and learn more about myself. My second highlight would be going on exchange to Australia. When I first found out about the Global Business and Digital Arts program I researched and looked at all of the opportunities that were available to me through the program. When I read about the possibility of going on exchange and the places I would be able to travel too Australia stood out to me. To make this long story short, before I was even accepted into the GBDA program I knew I wanted to go on exchange to Australia (this is where being very goal-oriented… and determined… came in handy because I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything stop me from gaining this experience, and I’m so happy I was able to make it happen)! Funny enough, both of my highlights involve a new experience; a new chance to discover, explore, learn and grow!
I remember the day my parents dropped me off at my residence, REV 1 West A. I don’t remember feeling scared, I’ve always loved school. I do remember 4th year and my convocation feeling so far away. Looking back now, the 4 years have flown by.
At the start of my 4th year I was picturing the day of my convocation and walking across the stage, and trying to predict how I would feel! Of course I was picturing the outfit I would wear too. I imagined myself wearing either a white dress or jumpsuit and black strappy heels (with a chunky heel… I knew I needed a good heel to support all the standing I’d be doing)! The week leading up to my convocation I felt a bit hopeless, because I had yet to find an outfit to wear! One of my days off from work I decided to head downtown to shop for my outfit and if I found something it was meant to be. I ended up walking by THE pair of shoes I had been imagining in my head all along (I imagined a pair of shoes for my prom and never found them… so I was shock to find the pair I dreamed up this time)! The beauties were Alexander Wang’s: the Abby Sandal with rose gold accents. They were black and strappy, but the straps were thick enough that I felt supported. They had a thick heel too! And as a bonus, they were comfortable and they have the rose gold accents! The price was a bit steep… but the pair I tried on was fresh out of the box and fit like a Cinderella slipper… this was me trying to justify purchasing them! I placed them on hold and do what I always do… I called my mom. Although I do this (almost) every time I make a big purchase, my mom is never more helpful than any other time I’ve called her to try to help me justify any purchase I’ve made. When I called after sending her pictures she said her usual line, “it’s your money Shannon, it’s your decision to make.” Not very helpful! You know when you call someone to get a second opinion or just want someone to agree with you, my mom is not that person but for some reason I still call her every time! Anyways, the master sale scavenger in me found the same pair of shoes on sale at The Bay (they had one pair left in my size, but you could tell they were tried on multiple times). I walked back to Nordstrom, because I know they price match, and I got the brand new, only-have-been-tried-on-by-me pair, for a steal! I was impressed with myself and happy to have found THE shoe! I mean, the shoes are the most important piece of the outfit because the gown would cover everything else!