Wrapping up my academic career has been a wild ride. The past eighteen years have been challenging, ever-evolving, and memorable. Starting my journey at Colorado State University, I was quiet, shy, timid, lack-luster, partially confused, and uncertain with the direction I was pointed in. The only thing I was confident in was my decision to pursue Marketing in the College of Business, but that was as far as my confidence carried me. On the first day of my freshman year, I was nervous, but not for the usual freshmen concerns, that was the same day my mother was to start chemotherapy, a journey far more significant than my own. That Fall semester was exhausting beyond words, but I buried my emotions into my newly purchased textbooks and friendships of my dorm hallway. She fought her way through a battle with cancer, and I fell sheepish to the realities of what life truly meant. I progressed through school, prioritizing the network of professionals I was gaining and taking in the experience in its totality. With the blink of an eye, I found myself in my Senior year with a degree in Marketing and several certificates. I had made it. Taking life in, I spent the Winter break in New Zealand with my most magnificent companion, Ryan Wix. Motivated and highly ambitious, I came back with the adventure of a lifetime under my belt. Little did I know, that January my life was again dismantled with my Father's diagnosis of Brain cancer. Experiencing a whole additional spectrum of pain and sorrow, we came together as a family to overcome yet another malicious beast of burden. It was the worst watching my "fountain-of-youth" father fight his own battle armed with my mother, brother, and self. Through my short four years of college, I watched my two most important humans run depleted from the unthinkable. These circumstances took a toll on my life, but with no regrets, I can say we are incredibly strong, willing, and able to handle whatever is thrown at us. Graduating from college, I had found what the meaning of life is and what indeed is essential. I am so blessed for the experiences I have conquered and the life I have created.