Alert the media … I did it! I, Kaitlin Nicole Morey, finally graduated college! Halleluyerrrr! (Madea Voice) ; I know that for most of you, this may not seem like THAT big of a deal, but for me, college was no easy ride. After graduating from high school in 2006, I went to the State University of New York at Albany for 3 semesters. I absolutely loved it there, but encountered a lot of health problems that were bad enough for me to take a medical leave. I had to come home and get my health back on track. While I was home, I found out that in order to stay on my mother’s insurance, I had to be a full time student, so I decided to sign up for classes at the community college here in Binghamton: Broome Community College. I ended up staying at BCC for 3 semesters, until I got my liberal arts associates degree (yay!). Unfortunately, we had a really hard time find a solution to my ADD. The combination of my poor health, bad self-esteem, and an appetite-suppressing ADD medication lead to the development of an eating disorder: Anorexia Nervosa. Dealing with an eating disorder was one of the hardest processes I ever had to go through ; I had to go to a treatment facility in Elmira, NY for an entire summer – that was certainly not the way I would have liked to spend a college summer! After a lot of hard work, I ended up beating the disorder and became a much stronger person because of it. I don’t regret that part of my life because its made me into the woman I am today (:
After I got out of treatment, I decided to go back to a 4 year university. My best friend/cousin Andrea was going to the State University of New York at Cortland, so I decided I’d go there too. If I went back to Albany, i’d have to start all over with the terrible GPA I left with, so I opted against it, I got into Cortland, and in the Fall of 2009 Andrea and I set off for Cortland.
We lived in our very first apartment, in a brand new gorgeous apartment complex. There, we met some great friends, including our other best friend (who we still love to this day), Kim. I like to consider Kim the black version of myself. We bonded, shared laughs, and went on some absolutely crazy adventures together! That fall, Andrea and I also decided to pledge a sorority: Alpha Sigma Alpha. These girls were amazing – not your “typical” sorority girls, and they made us feel right at home. We fell in love with them and at the end of the semester, we became sisters! This was very exciting for me, and one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made – not only did I gain about 100 sisters, but I met some of my lifelong best friends that I will NEVER forget. They say in college you find your bridesmaids, and that is SO true! i love these girls with all of my heart and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.
Anyway, Andrea and I had a nice time at Cortland, and made it through our first year there. That summer, we landed jobs with the Mental Health Association in Ithaca, working as respite care camp counselors for kids with all sorts of disabilities and disorders. Boy was that interesting! We had a blast and made some great friends there too! We opted to move away from our beautiful apartment, because we really missed our dogs: Peanut and Sophia. They had stayed at home with our parents, but we decided to find a new apartment where we could have our dogs.
This past year has been the busiest year of our lives. Andrea became President of our sorority and I also took a pretty significant position. On top of heavy classes, this took up a ton of our time, but it was definitely worth it. This past semester, I even got an internship at the Franziska Racker Center, working in an inclusive classroom for preschoolers with and without autism. I absolutely fell in love with both the kids and the job, and decided this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I’ve had SUCH a tough semester trying to juggle everything, but somehow I made it through. It’s kind of hard for me to believe, after the crazy rollercoaster ride college has been from the start. My friends and I have been through family issues, sorority drama, dances, bar fights, hangovers, good and bad grades, football games, community service, all nighters, bad breakups, episodes of the flu, and everything else you could ever imagine!
In a way, I’m kind of glad I didn’t have a quick and easy ride through college. Working to bring up my GPA, tackling an eating disorder, pleding a sorority, changing schools, (and majors 3 times) made my graduation yesterday (May 21, 2011) so much more worth it. I’m very proud of my accomplishments and even though I may not be a 4.0 student, I DID IT. I picked myself up from the lowest point i’ve ever been, and I worked SO hard to reach this point. I’m so very grateful to everybody who supported me and helped me through the way because I definitely couldn’t do it without them.
I’m so looking forward to the next chapter in my life and seeing what God has in store for me!
If I’ve learned anything at all from this experience, its that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to, no matter how impossible it may seem. I’m living proof of it (: