With back to school season now upon us, I wanted to address a group of students who are often left out of the picture: late college graduates.  I hope this open letter will encourage you all to finish strong you have something worth fighting for! 

Hey There,

School has started again and you are not sure how you feel about it. See, you were supposed to graduate last semester or maybe even last year, so you are now going to college on borrowed time with an emphasis on borrowed. I graduated a year late, due to a rapid transfer that caused me to sit out for a semester and made my 3.5 GPA standing feel like a wasted effort. I was devastated when I realized that once I did get back into school, that I would be immensely behind, requiring summer school up until graduation. I honestly felt like I failed myself and my parents. I know plenty of people would tell me oh with a GPA like that I would not complain etc. and in some ways they were right. I would soon realize what I went through was bigger than a GPA, bigger than losing a semester of my time to depression, and bigger than me.

I know there's an immense pressure on you to graduate in 4 years and to graduate on time in a good academic standing, but I need you to realize something: those life pressures don't go away. Graduating college will be a weight lifted off of your shoulders, but soon you'll be faced with other duties that will be equally, if not more important. So enjoy this time! You may not think you need it, but in time you will realize that this extra semester, or year, you will be able to do things you never could have imagined! Every thing works out for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). The big guy has a plan for you! Trust him and you will be amazed.

Flash forward three years, I have graduated, working a manager position that I love, and wondering why I wasted all those months being depressed. During my extra year I had the opportunity to go to NYFW for the first time ever, participated in a pageant and won the title of Miss Pan-Afrikan 2016-2017, and met people vital to imparting blessings into my future. Be encouraged and enjoy your time in college cause you will miss it! These are the best years of your life, so don't waste it on anything but happiness.

Speaking of NYFW I am proud to announce that I will be attending this year again! This was my big announcement I had for you all and I am so excited to share my experience as I attend various events and shows this year. Thank you guys for your continued support, The Strong Suit will take on NYFW next week!