During the four and a half years it took me to earn this degree, I overcame ridiculous amounts of anxiety and bullshit. In that time I had two meaningful relationships followed by two devastating break-ups; lost and renewed my faith; got screwed over by both my schools; travelled to the other side of the world; discovered how unspeakably marvelous nature is; endured three semesters of terrible, abusive roommates before finally living with decent people; almost got arrested; was preyed upon by countless men, some of whom I trusted; helped my family; got excellent grades; was woefully underpaid but worked my ass off at my jobs; lost all my friends; and started growing a backbone. Oh, and I learned all about marine science, too.
Even if I never enter this field, I am proud to have this degree because it is a symbol of all I have endured. The long process of getting it has been the greatest battle of my life, and its acquisition is proof that, by God, I won.