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How I Celebrated Getting My Master’s Degree Over the Weekend

From all the posting and whatnot, I’m sure at this point everyone knows I graduated earlier this week with my Master’s degree. 2 years of nonstop work and assignments and I now have a MA in Digital Journalism and a certificate in Food Writing and Photography. It’s funny all this stemmed from me having a “quarter-life crisis” one Friday night at work. The whole weekend was a whirlwind until the moment I walked off stage.

Being the first on both sides of my family to graduate with my Master’s degree is something crazy to think about. My grandmother’s tell me on a daily basis how they brag to anyone who listened about me graduating. They probably never thought they’d have a grandchild graduate with a Master’s degree. Just hearing the excitement ring loudly in their voices made me more excited.

My Party

I couldn’t not graduate and not have a party. My mom and I began planning a couple months ago. We came up with a menu but Friday was crunch time. It was insane going to several grocery stores to get everything we needed while my dad got the meats prepared at my uncle’s house. I was dead tired from all the running around honestly.

The day of was great. Sometimes I have the feeling like I don’t have enough support but seeing everyone who came out made me extremely grateful and alleviated any of the previous feelings because I do know I have the support. I be trippin’ clearly. There was so much food to go around too. By the end of the shindig, hardly anything is left over everyone is satisfied. My grandma Marva made a cheesecake that was TO DIE FOR. I didn’t get a slice at all because once word spread it was in the fridge, I didn’t stop cutting slices for at least 10 minutes.

My grandma Flo has a bad hip so she doesn’t get out much but I insisted she came to the party. Even a week later she’s still talking about it and how much fun she had. She was being shy and afraid she wouldn’t know anyone but she did!

The Ceremony

So, I’m a ball of emotions the day of. I stayed over in Orlando until the morning and drove back to Tampa to get myself together. It still hadn’t hit me yet that I was really graduating that day! I was so nervous, I left my tassel at home and asked my boyfriend to bring it.


My ceremony was held at Mahaffey Theater and it was my first time there. Walking in the room with the other Master’s candidates is when it hit me. It’s an awkward feeling sitting on stage and everyone in the audience looking at you. All I’m thinking the moment is “Alex, please don’t in front of all these people and embarrass yourself.” It worked out perfectly because I didn’t fall at all. Once it was all over, I sat in my chair on stage shaking because I finally did it.

Everything I did over the last 2 years led up to this moment and y’all can’t tell me anything.