Tag Archives: graduation

Graduation Day (Part 2) / THANK YOU!

So, I did it. I graduated college! I walked across a stage and didn’t trip and someone university-esque handed me a diploma frame! Hooray!

This is my favorite photo from graduation, even with the indoor lighting and green tint because it means to much that I was able to be in the same ceremony with three of the most influential friends in my life-

You should hire all of us!!! But seriously, I will now plug these beautiful graduates.

(left to right)

Christie is my roommate, my bandmate, and one of the greatest ladies in the world. She is always such a positive little light of energy and practically radiates love, not to mention that her voice is crazy-good. Go read her blog here!

Ryan is such a force of creativity and fun in my life and I am so glad I got to know and live above him! Keep his design site bookmarked, it will be up soon and will be wonderful! (He also designed Olive & Chuck’s twitter page!)

Zack is the best friend that I stumbled upon and had no idea I could have so much in common with. He is an AMAZING writer and the funniest person I know. Go read his blog here!

Looking at us 4 in our caps and gowns, all I could think of was this picture:

-(blame my pop-culture obsession.) I guess it could be worse. The O.C. was one of my favorites and my 3 friends are my favorites, so it works! And to you three, THANK YOU for being such great friends!

Now, on to the real thank yous for the past 3 & 1/2 years:

To anyone I’ve met over the past 21 years, to old friends from high school, to anyone who’s ever bought me coffee, to anyone who helped raise me, to anyone who has hired me, to anyone who sang with me, to anyone who helped me do math homework (because seriously, math is the WORST), to anyone who lent me their jacket when I was cold, to anyone who sent me a hilarious youtube video or picture of a puppy, to anyone who helped me study, to anyone who helped me procrastinate, to anyone who challenged me to think differently, to anyone who humored my love of puns, to anyone who let me force my musical taste on you, to anyone who danced with me even if you had two left feet, to anyone who listened to me rant about my bad day, to anyone who watched tv with me til 4 am, to anyone who helped me pick out an outfit, to anyone who baked a pie with me, to anyone who sat next to me in class, to anyone who let me cry on their shoulder, to anyone who walked around Target with me aimlessly just because, to anyone who prayed for me and to anyone who has ever read, commented or ‘liked’ this little blog-

THANK YOU!

I would not be the lion-haired girl that I am without your help, encouragement, honesty, love, support, phone calls at 3 am, jokes, songs and hugs. You are the reason that I love so wholeheartedly and cannot wait to see what the next chapter of my life holds.

I’ll love college deeply, I’ll probably still talk and write about it, but honestly – I don’t have any jobs lined up yet. I am looking, all around and beyond, but I’m not too worried. I know something will fall into place. However, shameless plug, if you hear of anything you think my lion talents might be lent well to, feel free to let me know, tweet me, leave a comment or email me at kelseyrmanning@gmail.com !

Finally, this blog has been something I’ve always wanted to do more with and now that I’m out of school, I hope to be revamping these parts and being more consistent with posts. If you have any criticism or ideas for me, I’d love to hear from you. If you have any design tips, send them my way! Please contact me with anything you like/dislike!

And if you could do me a HUGE favor, I’d love if you’d ‘like’ this blog on Facebook, right HERE. It would be awesome to get an idea of who I’m reaching with this blog and how I can better grow as an online brand & presence!

So, to repeat myself for the tenth time, THANK YOU. The internet can be a lonely place sometimes, but I am so happy to be able to have found my little corner and feel so loved. Yall are the best!

(OC Photo found: here)

A Letter To My 18-Year-Old Self

dear 18-year-old self,

hi, i’m about to graduate in 5 hours and you haven’t even entered it yet. get ready.

i know you’re scared of college, i know it doesn’t make sense yet and i know it’s not exciting yet, but it will be. you’re going to learn A LOT in the next 4 years (spoiler alert: it’ll actually only take you 3 and 1/2 and you’ll wonder why you graduated early) but i just wanted to share a little advice with you before you enter the greatest university in the world (go bobcats!!!).

based on what i have learned in these college years, here’s some wise words and Advice from me to you:

buy someone a drink. coffee or alcoholic. when they’re having a bad day, when you’re feeling generous, or both. this is the simplest thing to do but it is the easiest gesture to just spread a little love. pay for the person behind you in line. offer a refill. this is a good thing.

stay up all night just to appreciate sleep.

go on a road trip. see things you’ve never seen, even if they’re only 15 minutes away.

stop being so cynical of love. you’re going to heal, you’re going to get back on that horse. i know that you still want to make sarcastic comments anytime anyone enters a relationship but you’ve gotta refrain. you’re gonna get over it. you’re gonna listen to a lot of adele and some nights you’re gonna cry, but you’re gonna become a better woman from all this and more that anything, you’re gonna laugh about it in the end.

PICK UP THE GUITAR IN YOUR CLOSET AND ACTUALLY LEARN IT. also, think about finding a ukulele. trust me.

offer to drive everyone. make playlists for the car. don’t overlook how much bonding is going to take place just driving around your small college town.

make cookies. learn that cookies take almost no time or effort to make, but they are secret code for caring.  LEARN THIS EARLY and then make them often, make a lot of them and give them to your friends. no reason needed.

i know it seems stupid right now, self, but you’re gonna get really into fashion and you’re gonna have a heart for it and you’re gonna find a style that suits you and looks good. just trust me on this one. embrace the fact that you love leopard print and vintage 1960s looks and go with it. also, thrift stores will be your new home, so bring febreeze.

try not to be so dramatic. keyword: try.

you’re gonna watch a heck of a lot of good tv. don’t let anyone tell you that this is a waste, because certain episodes are going to bring you to tears and you’re gonna realize that that’s what you wanna do with your life. you’re gonna make a best friendship cemented with buffy the vampire slayer. you’re gonna marvel at mad men and be blown away by the heart and simplicity of pushing daisies. share these with other people and watch episodes together and all fall in love with the artform of visual media.

take pictures!!!! take a million pictures! TAKE SO MANY PICTURES -but don’t get lost in the nostalgia of them. appreciate the memories but don’t get stuck trying to relive them. the past can hurt if you try and stay in it. always be moving forward, always look for new little places and people to give your heart to and share your life with.

call your mom. you’re gonna grow so close to her. she understands that a spoonful of nutella counts as a meal. she understands that growing up is hard. she knows what to say and when to listen and when to pray.

call your dad. he’s gonna teach you how to fix a flat tire and a broken heart.

call your brother and grandparents. they’ll always have a good story to tell and a good restaurant recommendation.

don’t worry so much.

everyone’s gonna get on you about dating and at family gatherings everyone will ask if you have a boyfriend. just smile at them politely. i know you want to punch them, but please, smile.

and whenever you get sad, just switch decades and go live in the 60s and 70s for a little while. play soul music and old country and psychedelic tunes and dance in your room till it gets better. let jimi’s guitar solos speak when you can’t, let sam cooke cheer you up with that divine voice of his and let john, paul, george & ringo continue to sing you to sleep.

keep writing songs, please. keep writing them and singing them even if no one hears them. maybe let someone hear one. and then two people. and then three. and before you know it, you’ll be strumming them in a coffee shop with your best friend adding harmonies. ps, you’re gonna grow so much from this.

don’t be so negative on the internet. don’t vent. use the internet as a place of creativity and humor and connection.

smile at people you don’t know. it’ll freak them out a little, but what’s not fun about that?

go play. go be outside and run around and do cartwheels in the sunshine. build blanket forts and eat candy.  you don’t have to grow up just yet.

pray, read your bible, talk to people about jesus. seek him when it’s not going right, cry to him when it’s not fair and tell him everything you need. don’t let loneliness creep in; remember that you are loved.

you’re going to live with some wonderful ladies who make college apartments feel like one big sleepover. cherish this even when yall get on each other’s nerves. reconcile by making breakfast and going shopping and getting manicures and watching chick flicks, because it is perfectly okay to be a girl and be feminine and sometimes spend too much time talking about ryan gosling and shoes. embrace those x chromosomes.

guess what? get ready for the greatest men in the world to enter your life! you’re gonna find boys who teach you what you want and they’re gonna respect you and make you feel pretty and loved even without saying anything. you’re gonna be the luckiest, most envied lady for all the great guy friends you have in your life. appreciate this and love them back.

go to that stupid freshman year seminar that has that speaker who you’ve never heard of and look for the boy who’s messing with the zebra phone case. i know that looking back it will be embarrassing when you tell him within the first five minutes of meeting that you two will be best friends someday, but trust your instincts. and get ready for the best friend of your little life.

and you know what? even though sometimes your feelings are messy and undecided and up-in-the-air, don’t be afraid to share them.

oh, and don’t forget that no one looks good in that silly hat, but the least you can do is add a little pizazz to it.

(and don’t worry, your hair’s still big in the future.)

love,

your 21-year-old ready-to-take-on-the-world-but-not-really blessed-with-the-greatest-friends-in-the-world self

Graduation Day; Part 1

I know that I haven’t written in weeks and that I should have philosophical reasons for doing so, but if anything, my life as of late has been defined by five words:

“i’m graduating college on friday.”

I am a huge mess of emotions right now. I feel like a little kid who doesn’t want to grow up. I feel like an adult who somehow is still holding onto my college sweatshirts. I feel like everyone around me is getting married and I’m sitting pretty on single island, holding onto my Lord Of The Rings dvds and musical soundtracks. I feel like I’m going to trip and fall onstage when they call my name at graduation. I feel a bitter confusing sense of nostalgia for freshman year when everything seemed new. I feel giddy realizing I won’t ever have to study again in a few days! I feel sleepy because I haven’t slept for 4 years while getting this degree. But mostly, I feel extremely and totally happy.

Everyone is telling nightmare stories of the current job market and suggesting grad school and cocking their heads to the side when I tell them I don’t know what I’m doing after this Friday, but I am just so happy; so overjoyed with the love I’ve experienced in the past 4 years.

I believe in Jesus. I believe in God. I’m not trying to convert you and you don’t have to echo my beliefs to read this blog. You don’t have to read this post or agree with it and I won’t take it personally if you stop reading altogether, but I just can’t honestly write a sentence about college and how it has changed my life without name-dropping Jesus and saying that I know he placed me here, at this university, for a reason. He put me here to surround me with knowledge and so much creativity and so much music to encourage my career goals. He put me here to grow and learn to go after what I want, no matter how hard or impossible it might seem. Mostly, he put me here to meet people that would challenge me, make me laugh harder than I ever have and love me unconditionally, and for all of this I am so thankful and gosh-darn happy!

So, come Friday, I’ll take on the real world. I’ll wear a funny hat and take pictures and keep replaying graduation cliches from movies and tv shows in my mind the whole time. I’ll try not to, but I’ll end up listening to Youth Group’s version of ‘Forever Young’ and I’ll get a huge lump in my throat. I’ll hug my best friends that I’ve been blessed to meet here and I’ll most likely do a bunch of happy dances. And I’ll cry- oh, that I already know, thanks to my sentimental heart- but you can bet that the tears will be happy ones.

And, you can also bet that my lion-maned hair will be Texas-sized and in full force.

And, of course, that I’ll blog all about it.