As of tomorrow at 10:30 A.M., I will be done with the last first semester of my undergraduate career. With it comes fantastic memories, amazing accomplishments, and lots of learning about myself, where I want to go, and how I can be a better person. When I think of the achievements I have been afforded this semester, I am beyond grateful for the support system that has worked tirelessly to ensure that I get to where I need to be.

If it was late night talks, panicked phone calls, or just a simple nod; I knew that the support was there and was unwavering–I just needed to trust myself. Now as I enter my last 24 hours of the semester, I think about all the opportunities next semester. My Senior Research Thesis, my decision for graduate school, and the future of my career all take place in the next 6 months. In fact, in 155 days, I will be graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I will have earned my first set of letters next to my name: Luciano Mastrangeli, B.S.! Next up is obviously the M.Ed., but for now I will enjoy the euphoria of having a Bachelor’s.

This semester I have so much to be thankful for. I have had an amazing staff that has supported me, loved me, and taught me so much than I could have possibly imagined. I have had an amazing supervisor who I know will be a fantastic friend once I leave Stevenson. Through the past six months, I have also gained momentum in my graduate school application process. As weird as it sounds, I look at my drafts of my Personal Statements and see the maturity of the writer that typed them. My first one is so full of emotion and anxiety that is is almost cringe-worthy to read. My current ones are refined, articulate, and really showcase the person and student I am; something that I was able to do with the help and guidance of faculty and staff who get it. The process has taught me a lot, and has encouraged me to always trust myself no matter what.

To say that this semester was uneventful was wrong. I completed an Internship in an amazing office that I will be continuing next semester. I started preparation for my Senior Research Thesis–the culminating keystone of my undergraduate career. I advised a staff of five amazing Resident Assistants who have taught me so much. I have finally accepted the flaws of myself and am working towards a better me. I have finally seen the power of my voice and my individual experience. As someone who struggles with in the trenches self-esteem and self-confidence hearing the words “you got this” or “you did great” are sometimes more traumatic than helpful. A mismatch of logic and emotion takes place in those moments and I suddenly forget about everything I have done to get me to this point. As I actively work on this, I am thankful for my parents who have always stood by me to support me even if it meant just being there in my silence.

So, as I study for this last exam, I am excited for the future and am happy with where I am going. May this holiday season be as worth-it for you as it will be for me. Thank you for me for being me.


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