You’ve graduated… Now what?

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After four long years and one long ceremony, it was all over. My times at Auburn were done. Was I really there for four years already? I couldn’t believe it… but at least my senior year was awesome! I witnessed an unimaginable football season and even saw the Tigers play for a National Championship in Pasadena, CA. I also had the best job and coworkers imaginable. It truly was a great time. Oh, the memories.

Anyways, graduation was over and I was standing outside of the Auburn Arena with a large group of family and friends and I was giddy with excitement. My oldest sister had made the trip even though her due date was the exact same day I graduated. She tried to refuse pictures, but we got a couple of good ones.

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For the next couple of days we would anxiously await the arrival of Livy Emersen Phillips. She made her debut on August 4th, two days after my graduation and her due date. It was an amazing time to be in our family and an amazing time to move back home. I got to spend a lot of time with my oldest niece, Lucy, while she waited to become a big sister. I even watched her devour a pancake that was bigger than her head! Overall, it made my move home so much easier because I get to be closer to my beautiful, wonderful family. There’s nothing to take the edge away from a painful move like two beautiful little nieces!

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A couple of days after Livy was born, I got the chance to take my first full length beach vacation with Taylor and his Aunt Terri and Uncle Carl. We went to Seaside, FL, and it was absolutely gorgeous! We even met a man named JT who claimed to be the oldest living and shortest ever Aubie (we still need to verify that this was the truth, but I was convinced). I had an amazing time and fell in love with the 3 bedroom condo we stayed in. I also will never forget the time I got to spend with Taylor. It was nice to be able to not think about moving away from the town we shared for the first time in a long time. These few days were better than I could have ever imagined they would be and I am forever grateful to Terri and Carl for inviting me along.

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When I came home, I had one week until I started my assistantship (which I will write about next), so I decided to do a little bit of room renovation in my room at home. Previously, three of my walls were painted the brightest pink sold by Home Depot and it looked a little too much like a fifteen year old lived in my room, so I got a nice color called french silver and said goodbye to the pink!

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Lastly, on August 18th, I started my assistantship with the University of West Georgia Athletic Department as a mentor in Academic Support. So far, it has been interesting and entertaining. It is exciting to be a part of this blossoming Athletic Program and I am glad to have been given the opportunity to serve them.

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Well, that’s all that has happened until this week when I started actual classes. I will save all of that orientation and class madness for a different post.

Great sisters are blessed by being promoted to Aunt. -Anonymous

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..

Look, your whole life is ahead of you.
Not the fun part. That part’s over. But the other part. -Seth Myers

Sometimes, you use a word your whole life without having really experienced it for yourself. For me, that word was bittersweet. I might have gotten a tiny taste of it when I graduated high school and left my hometown, but I got the full dose when I turned my tassel at Auburn University on August 4, 2014. I had never felt anything like what I was feeling: equal parts elation for my future in graduate school at University of West Georgia and literal heartbreak that my time at Auburn was over. I told myself that I would never love a school like I loved Auburn and that I would come to UWG and refuse to make any friends. I wanted to hang on to my Auburn life and nothing else.

The thing is, I lie to myself. Though it is true I will never feel another school in my veins the way I feel Auburn, there is no version of Brianna Cofield that will not make friends in any situation. Even on the worst day, I am a person who craves companionship and I have already begun to get to know people in my cohort at UWG.

Still, living anywhere but Auburn feels strange and wrong… I’ve compared it to being at summer camp. It feels like at any moment I will pack up my things and go back to Auburn and resume what has been my life. It’s like at any time I will go back to my couch, invite my boyfriend over like always, and watch goofy movies and TV shows with him until I ultimately fall asleep and he gets bored of watching alone and wakes me up to make me go to bed so he can leave.

That, however, is not my life anymore. At least it isn’t for now. We all must grow up and move on, and it is both extremely uncomfortable and extremely rewarding to pursue your dreams. To even be accepted to graduate school in my area of Communication Disorders/ Speech- Language Pathology is nothing short of a blessing. I realized that any apprehension to go on with this next step in my education was downright ungrateful and even disrespectful to those who were not as fortunate as I was in the admissions process.

So, with a new attitude towards the challenge that is grad school, I begin to dive in fully to this next step in my life. It is definitely a journey to have to start over on a new campus in a town that neither my boyfriend or my best friends from the past four years live in, but I am here and I am doing it. I will not stop until I am Brianna Cofield, CCC-SLP.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined! -Henry David Thoreau

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