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PERSONAL STORY BY PROVIDENCE BOWMAN

MY MAY DAY

DEGREE IN HAND, DIRECTION IN DEMAND I graduated on May 1st at 4:10 p.m. The culmination of 4 years of hard work summed up in 10 minutes with the Covid mandated stop time of my graduation recognition at 4:20pm.


 One of my biggest fears is not living up to my fullest potential. Not exercising every tool in my belt, making every connection that I can, and using every second of the day to my advantage. I , like many other people in our country, get lost in the hustle and what everyone else is doing. We see the LinkedIn updates about new jobs and opportunities, and get lost in what we should have done or could have done. I wrestle with agonizing fear and anxiety with the fact that one day I will no longer be on this earth, and that I will have to be at peace with what I have accomplished with my time on earth. Will that be enough? Did I become everything that I could and break down every wall in my way?

“…a fast pass to a panic attack…”

I am living such a small piece of my story right now, yet as these words march across my keyboard it feels like the heaviest burden to bear. I am 22 years old. Soaking up knowledge, stories and experiences in every corner of my life that I can -- meeting people that will be in my life forever, and some that will merely be passing through. I am a recent college graduate, wrestling with the horrible question of, what am I going to do with my life?. What am I going to leave as a legacy? What are other people my age doing? Yet, I am filled with a whole new sense of freedom with my degree in my hand. I made it through four years of higher education; a milestone that many women around the world do not have the opportunity to earn. Right now it feels like a piece of paper, a fast pass to a panic attack, a question left unanswered.

At the age of 22,I thought my life would be moving at record breaking speed. It seems to only be that way in my mind. I accomplished one of the biggest things in my life at a time where the world and the economy seems to be at a stand still. I graduated college in the top 10% of my class, at a time where 10% of the world is experiencing hunger everyday. These past 18 months have given many of us in the world every right to feel cynical and bitter and wonder why life would choose to be this way.

My degree feels like a mayday call to me. A heavy weight. Flashing lights. Post grad blues. In reality it is not a cry for help, it is not a distressing motion. My degree is a practice in patience, diligence, and pride. My degree was challenging and worth every ounce of sweat, a degree I earned in hopes of helping others with their mayday calls. ∎

PROVIDENCE BOWMAN

Awareness Ties Project Manager & Columnist
 www.awarenessties.us/providence-bowman Providence Bowman is a college student attending Grand Valley State University, studying International Relations. She is passionate about using her words for good and is currently piecing stories together in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She loves to spend her free time traveling, with her head in a book, and by the water. She lives everyday by her mantra that we are here to pursue opportunities and “go be awesome”.

75 AWARENOW / THE MAYDAY EDITION

www.IamAwareNow.com

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