On December 15th, 2017 I graduate from Grand Canyon University!  Which means that I am now part of the GCU Alumni! 
I have so much to say about graduation day that I cannot put into one Facebook or instagram post. There's so many people I need to thank and so many memories I have to reflect back on. Which is why I chose to make a blog post about this amazing day instead.
First things first! I may have graduated from GCU but I will always consider myself a University of Hawai'i wahine! Once a warrior, always a warrior am I right?! I was so blessed to attend my dream school my freshman year of college and I wouldn't change it for the world. During my time there I met so many amazing people and got to experience so many great things. There's not enough words to explain my time there and how much happiness it brought me to be apart of the UH Manoa community. In particular, I am so happy to have made life long friends at this school. 
Lokelani Floor Nine FOREVA! (talk about a glow up)
What started off as random placement in a dorm, ended up being some of the best friendships I'll ever have. Shiina and Takara are missing from the bottom picture but they were there in our hearts! I was able to see some of my best friends graduate this past spring and I could not be more proud of them!

Another great friend who've I've grown even closer to is Caitlin! We had so many adventures freshman year and have continued to make memories since then. Wouldn't trade her for the world!
There are many more people I met in Hawai'i who have made a big impact on my life and they know who they are, so thank you! 
Another random placement turned to friendship! My first year at GCU I met these amazing girls and I have loved them ever since! My first year and impression of GCU would not have been the same if they weren't placed in my life to be honest. I'm so glad to call them my friends!
I'm even happier to say I got to share graduation day with one of them! Love you Edie!
This girl right here literally carried me through college and I can't thank her enough. 
No, seriously.. I'm so clumsy that she has actually had to carry me places around campus lol
But besides carrying me physically, she also carried me mentally and emotionally. She's been there for all my breakdowns and the times I wanted to call it quits, and she reminded me why I started this journey in the first place. SO MANY TIMES. Imani is the best friend I could have ever asked for.

I can't leave out my fellow healthcare major friends! At one time or another I have had deep and meaningful conversations with each of these people that reminded me why I am choosing to pursue medicine. Austin is my go to when I feel like I'm not good enough. Becca can make me laugh when my science classes are breaking me down. And last but not least.. Denisia is the one who helps me push forward. No matter how hard this road has been for her she keeps going and that inspires me to do the same. 

Lindsee has been a great friend of mine throughout my journey here at GCU. She's become more than a friend really, she's my sister. My time at GCU would not be the same without her. She's helped me remain strong in my faith, constantly reassured me of myself, helped me find the good in every situation and overall just become a better person. Even after she graduated, she put in the effort to be there for me all the way to the end of my undergrad career and I know she'll always be there for me.

This is Ana. She's been a great friend to me for about 7 years now.
 I will say that we are both so busy that we unfortunately don't get to talk too often. However, Ana is someone i consider to a best friend to me. The first two photos are of us were taken a few months after my cancer diagnosis when I was going through chemo. I have to thank Ana separately because she literally saved my life. Many people don't understand how hard it is to go through a cancer diagnosis and how emotionally challenging it is. It broke me down completely. I haven't talked about this to a lot of people, maybe just a handful. During my treatment I felt that I hadn't become myself anymore and I hated it. I hated it so much that I just didn't want to live anymore. I was convinced I was going to die to be honest. So I thought about ending my life multiple times. Unfortunately, one day I had come to the decision that I was going to do it. That same day Ana and our friend Racheal came to visit me in the hospital. My face was swollen from the steroids I had to take, mouth swollen due to mouth sores, and I was bald from my chemo. I didn't recognize myself and I hated it, I started to hate myself. But that day Ana sat and talked with me and caught me up on all I was missing in school. Mid conversation she stopped and looked at me, like really looked at me. I thought she was thinking about how bad I looked, but instead she said something I did not expect. She told me that I was beautiful and that she loved me. She told me that I had purpose in this world and that she couldn't wait for me to beat this stupid disease and thrive in life. Ana kept talking about these great things I would one day accomplish and she asked me to promise her I wouldn't give up, no matter what. I promised her that day and I also promised myself. She literally saved my life. If she hadn't decided to visit me that day and say those words to me I don't know if I would be here writing this post. So thank you Ana, for being a friend when I needed it the most. I can never thank you enough for always being there for me, even when life gets busy.

The last friend I wanna thank is Amberlee. We met my sophomore year of high school and have been sisters ever since. We didn't even like each other when we first met actually. But after a few months of having debates in English class and being forced to sit next to each other we realized we were more alike than we were wanting to admit. We bonded over nutella, coffee, and yearbook club. The next year I got my diagnosis and she was there for me EVERY step of the way. She cried with me, spend nights at the hospital with me (even trading out with my mom so she could get some rest some nights), encouraged me, pushed me and loved me. She loved me even when I yelled at her out of frustration because of my limitations due to chemo and surgery. She helped me tell my parents about my mental health issues at the time and she stuck up for me when I couldn't do it for myself. She's still outshining herself now.. driving 40 minutes to come to a birthday dinner at Hot n Juicy even though she's allergic to shellfish... making it to my graduation to congratulate me and cry some more lol (even though she went to the brunch place on first on accident, although that was MY fault haha). She's a forever friend and I love her so much. 


My mom and my grandmother have been my shoulders to cry on throughout my undergrad years! Well, really my whole life to be honest. They have loved me since the day I was born and they keep loving me more every day (I assume lol). I know that whenever I need to vent or need some advice I can go to them. I could write about these two amazing women for days! I love them so much and I couldn't ask for a better mom or a better grandma. They've taught me some great life lessons throughout college that I can carry out the rest of my life. I wouldn't be me without you mom.

To my Dad. It's been a rough couple of years but I love you. You have taught me a lot since childhood and you loved me before I was even born. Thanks to this man I know how to cook, how to fight and the importance of sports and friendship. We've been through a lot, and even though you drive me crazy sometimes I will love you forever!

My Uncle Trav and Aunt Tammy are like another set of parents to me. I can't even count how many times I have called my uncle when I was going through it, just so he could make me laugh. He's a great uncle, but an also an even better extra father figure in my life. These two were as proud as my own parents on my graduation day and I am so glad to have shared this day with them! And cousin Tyler of course! He's just as funny as his dad and maybe even crazier haha.
Thank you to my Granny Rita and Grandpa Skip. They have showed me so much love throughout my entire life. I am so glad to have them be part of my life and my big day! I love them very much and I am so blessed to have them as grandparents.
I first wanna say that this picture is rare because no one can ever catch my grandpa smiling, let alone laughing in a picture! I'm so grateful to my family for supporting me, loving me and making this day better than I could have imagined. I wouldn't be who I am today without these wonderful people.

Someone that I cannot thank enough is my great grandmother. She taught me the value of an education from a very young age. This woman is absolutely incredible and was like a mother to me. She taught me how to read, write, braid hair and so much more. There is so much to say about her, and I don't think I can ever say enough. She accepted me for who I was and was my number one supporter from day one. Unfortunately, she was not here to spend this special day with my because God called her home last year. But since the beginning of my college journey (really the beginning of my life) she has constantly been there for me. We talked to each other weekly up until her passing. She believed in my dreams even before I did and has encouraged me to never stop chasing them until they become reality. This degree isn't just for me, it's for her too. I can't imagine even getting to this point in my life without having her in it. God blessed me with more years with her than I thought I would get honestly, and I am so grateful for the many memories we made together. I hope to be at least half the woman she was and I sure hope that I have made her proud.

Lastly, I want to thank myself. Who else pulled those all nighters and woke up for 7am classes?! I have been my biggest critic thus far and I have been very hard on myself throughout college. I didn't believe I could get to this day. I thought so many times I would give up. The first picture is a senior photo from high school and the second a senior photo from undergrad. Talk about a glow up! (thank goodness for one though haha). But the people I thanked above are the reason I made it through. They believed in me, which lead me to believe in myself. 

I sure hope I made little Abriel proud. 
Here's to the next adventure..