As I sat down to write a blog post for this week, I realized that it was my fiftieth post for ASweetLife (not including any of the feature articles that I have written). I’m pretty excited about this milestone. It’s a good feeling to know that I have accrued fifty pieces of my personal writing during a pivotal period of my life: college.
This past Wednesday, I officially completed my undergraduate career at UMass Amherst. My degree is in English, with a minor in Psychology. On Monday, I started a new full-time job with a company that I interned for over the summer.
When I combine these major milestones with the knowledge that my seventeenth diabetes anniversary is right around the corner, it’s kind of mind blowing.
I guess what I mean by this is that I feel like I should recognize how much I’ve accomplished over the years despite having diabetes. Often, it is assumed that diabetes slows those affected by it down, that it is so dramatically life-altering that it takes a serious toll on a person’s daily activities. On the contrary, I think the exact opposite is true. If anything, diabetes has been a huge motivating force for me. It’s pushed me to prove to myself and to others that I’m capable of anything.
Specifically, I went to college and succeeded. I was terrified to leave the comfort and safety of my home and live independently. But when it came time for move-in day my freshman year, my only option at that point was to make the most out of this new chapter in my life. Three and a half years later, I think I can say that I truly did.
During my time in college, I made many new friends. I took some classes that I absolutely loved and some that I positively hated. I made my fair share of mistakes and I learned from them. I stepped out of my comfort zone on more than one occasion, and despite panicking each time, I was always proud of myself for doing so anyways. I started to pursue my interest in writing by blogging for ASweetLife. I became the chapter president of the UMass Amherst College Diabetes Network. I was crazy enough to take 18 credits during my last two semesters and still somehow managed to secure employment before I was done. And I did it all while managing my diabetes.
It didn’t really occur to me until just now – a week after finishing school – that I ought to congratulate myself for my success both academically and physically. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m aware that the arrival of Christmas Eve means that I’ve had diabetes for just over 80% of my life, or perhaps it’s knowing just how much I’ve done in the short span of seven semesters. Regardless, these numbers are more than mere statistics to me; they represent how I refuse to let diabetes get in my way. Fifty blog posts later and I’m feeling more secure than ever in terms of my diabetes care and consciousness as well as in my membership to the Diabetes Online Community.
As for right now, I’m looking forward to writing even more about my upcoming experiences (both diabetes-related and not!) in the so-called “real world” – definitely stay tuned!