This May marked nine years since I graduated from The American University in Washington, D.C. I didn’t exactly need the Facebook reminder to commemorate the milestone—I follow my alma mater on social media, proudly have my degree framed on my wall, and work with a fellow AU alumna. But it did make me stop and reflect on how far I’ve come since those D.C. days.
While I have visited AU since graduating, it’s not the same AU I attended as a college student. Buildings have been expanded and new ones erected where a parking lot once was. The campus might not be exactly the same, but I still enjoy taking a walk down memory lane when I visit. I retrace the steps I once took from my dorm room to the Ward Circle building where my political science classes were housed (the building, I believe, has since been renamed), and walk from campus to what was my first apartment on Wisconsin Avenue.
I often reflect on my D.C. days fondly—I made great friends in college and learned how to be independent in a new city. They truly were the best years of my life.
Since graduating, I’ve spent time thinking about what I’ve accomplished…and what I still want to. Sometimes, I think I haven’t achieved enough at my age. Other times, I’m reminded that at 31, I am a cancer survivor—and that is more than enough.
Whenever I doubt my accomplishments, I remind myself that I’ve turned a cancer diagnosis into a career direction that has been so personally (and now, professionally) fulfilling. This site sparked my interest in social media, creating content, and engaging with an audience. I found my voice through sharing my story and connecting with my readers and followers, some of whom, are fellow cancer survivors. I’ve drawn inspiration from people on the Internet, most of whom, I’ve never met in person. I’ve been embraced and encouraged by strangers who related to my struggle. And, now, I’m utilizing the skills I have acquired as a cancer survivor and lifestyle blogger, in a full-time role that I wake up each day and feel grateful to be in because it is exactly what I was meant to do.
My time at AU was transformative, and just as the campus has changed over time, so have I.