On cold and rainy days like these, I like to meditate on the experiences that I have had in my life up to this point, and take time to reflect on the goodness of the Lord. I remember as a high school student thinking about college as a distant dream. I didn’t want to go because I didn’t think that I was intelligent enough to make it there. School was never something that came easy to me, but I continued to push through because I had a curious mind, and I enjoyed learning. My scholastic journey has been a combination of great successes, disappointments, failures, blood, sweat, tears, fears, worries, joys, smiles, and proud moments; but it all whittles down to being lessons learned to make me a better individual. I may not move as quickly as everyone else does, but with a relationship with God and the support of a loving family in my corner, my race has been a little bit easier to run. I think about where I am now, as a senior getting ready to complete my last semester of undergrad at Mount St. Mary’s University, and all of the opportunities that have been allotted to me, the positions that I have held, the professors by whom I have been taught, the peers I have encountered, how much I have grown spiritually and intellectually, and the sense of self that I have gained over these past four years, and I can’t help but be pleased with the progress that I have seen. The timid Ariel that I used to know no longer exists in the young woman that I am today. God’s hand of grace has been a constant source of stability in my life and for that I am grateful and very humbled. It is only because of His grace that I can be confident in the person that I am and look forward to the future with great expectation for what is to come. I have endured a great many things in my 17 years of academia, but I never let the obstacles that I faced detour me from my desired end. I chose to persevere, I chose to push past fear, stress, fatigue, frustration, and even self-doubt to get where I am, and I made a decision not to dwell on the past, but to learn from it and to continue to trust the Lord with my present and my future.