Yesterday marked the end of my graduate journey and I can hardly believe it. Last August, I quit my job, moved to another city, shifted my long-term relationship into a long-distance relationship and embarked on this solo journey to finding adulthood.
If you would’ve told me last January that by the end of 2019 I would have a Master’s Degree from NYU I would have laughed and said, “I wish.” Now, on December 12th, 2019, I can say I’ve accomplished everything I had said I wanted to do since I was 15 years old.
I lived on my own in the tiniest, brick wall apartment in the Lower East Side that I learned to love.
Went to my dream school studying what I am most passionate about, marketing.
Worked at SiriusXM and RCA Records.
Created a network of friends from all around the globe (Italy, Colombia, China, Indonesia, Peru, Mexico, England, Thailand, India, Kazakhstan, to name a few.)
Learned to cook and build furniture (I know, my parents still can’t believe it).
Valued phone calls and FaceTimes.
Connected with old friends and colleagues that came to the city and reignited the relationships.
Understood the feeling of loneliness when surrounded by millions of people.
Mastered the art of looking calm, cool and collected when presenting when I wasn’t 100% sure.
Learned to appreciate the sound of silence.
Acknowledged the power of a good puffer coat, no matter how ugly it was.
Surrounded myself by people that really cared about me making all of the difference.
Realized that praying and keeping a solid connection with God really does change your life.
And last, but not least, I met two members of One Direction for work purposes. (Really dumb but if you would’ve told me that at 17, I would’ve laughed).
This is just a testament that hard word, perseverance, grit, faith, professionalism and ambition really does take you to where you want to go. I was so scared that I would not make any friends or really be able to adjust to the city when I first moved but when you set yourself up for success, everything turns for the better.
As I sit here on my mattress on the floor, surrounded by bags of clothes, I can’t help but get emotional thinking back on what a rollercoaster this past year and a half have been. I wouldn’t change anything.
So now, I present to you Rebecca Marie Rodríguez, M.S. Integrated Marketing (a slightly more adult version from a year ago).
Thank you to everyone who encouraged me, was there to listen to me cry and pushed me to be a better version of myself. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Goodbye #TheOneWhereBeckyMoves, goodbye NYC. It’s been a blast.