Graduation Anniversary & Some Things I’ve Learned

graduation anniversary

Today marks one year since I graduated from The University of Texas. How can that be?! As usual, I’m completely blown away by how fast time flies.

A graduation anniversary definitely has a sentimental twang. It makes me think of the fact that a year ago, so many things were different – where I was living, what I was doing, how I got around the city, what the next couple months looked like, etc.

graduation anniversary

graduation anniversary

graduation anniversary

I definitely miss it and have moments of wishing I could go back, but then I’m reminded about how fortunate I am in the present. It’s so wonderful to look back at the awesome things that have happened in the last 365 days.

I’m also not hear to pretend everything is always peachy-keen though. I do feel some sadness, because in the last year, hardships have most definitely been present and I think it’s important to let yourself acknowledge that.

All and all though, I think what is most rewarding on this day is to look at how I’ve grown and what I’ve learned. The new experiences in the last year have truly shaped me and taught me more than I could’ve ever expected. I’m sharing ten of those things today.

  1. New people with different ideas, perspectives, and previous experiences are SO refreshing. I knew I loved meeting new people for this reason, but moving to a place where you can count those you know on one hand and immersing yourself into a whole community of new people is actually incredible.
  2. Public transit in a big city rocks, especially if you didn’t like driving to begin with. Not having to pay for gas…or replace a mirror you might have broken off when backing out of the garage…can save a lot of money.
  3. To be fully known and fully loved by someone, in my case Eric, is truly the greatest gift ever. Eric knowing me at my best, and at my worst, and still choosing to love me, work at things with me, encourage me, want to be a total fool with me every single day, and spend forever together is pretty darn cool.                                                                                                                        graduation anniversary
  4. Trader Joe’s frozen BBQ Chicken Teriyaki and frozen Quinoa Duo make the best quick and easy meal. I feel like a real chef when I whip out with this combo, or more like I went and picked up take out from a real chef. Sooooo good.
  5. Keeping in frequent, regular contact with people will become even harder. It can be done, but it takes more work, and more forgiveness of self when it feels like you’re not doing a good job. Everyone is busy, and everyone understands. It’s just that now instead of only family and high school friends, you’ve got your college crew layered into that as well.
  6. I want to live abroad for a year, maybe two, and likely in Spain. Eric and I want to perfect our Spanish and travel as much of Europe as we possibly can. Plus, new people and new cultures?? Per point number one here – sign me up.
  7. Studying God’s word alongside a group of ladies each week is oh-so-rewarding. How wonderful it is to love on, be vulnerable and honest with, and adjust to this so called adult life in a community like that??
  8. Wedding planning is a whole lot of work, but a whole lot of fun. Also, weddings in general are the greatest because they involve dancing and reuniting you with people you love and miss dearly.
  9. Spending money on travel and food are my priority, because let’s be real – adventure and chatting with friends over a good meal are the best.
  10. Eric and I  are incredibly grateful and in love with life here in Chicago, but we do miss Texas a whole bunch. We’ll eventually settle back down in Austin, where it all started.

graduation anniversary

Wrapping up this post with a couple more notes…

First off, A HUGE CONGRATS to my baby sister and official Texas Longhorn! This lady worked her butt off this past year to transfer to UT Austin, and I’m so incredibly in awe of her faith and determination. I can’t wait to cheer her on throughout this journey, just as she did for me.

graduation anniversary

Secondly, congratulations to all the new Texas Exes that graduated from UT this past weekend! What an accomplishment to be closing this amazing chapter, and starting the next one – whatever it may be! As Monica said in the very first episode of Friends

Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it. 

michigan getaway

It’s true – this adult thing has it’s challenges. But when you surround yourself with good people, keep working towards dreams, your faith, and stay focused on laughing and learning, it totally rocks.

Happy Monday, friends!

Days By Day


  1. Michelle McCloskey
    May 23, 2016 / 9:12 am

    love you Dayna – you are such an inspiration to us all!

    • Dayna Reyna
      May 23, 2016 / 11:24 am

      Love you, lady! Right back at ya!

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