She will walk up to the stage as the crowd erupts in cheers.
Massaran Kromah will shake hands with President Frederick Slabach, grab her diploma, and smile at the crowd, spotting her husband, Ayouba Swaray; sisters Mariam and Matela and, most importantly, her mother Makagbe Dukuly.
Dec. 14, 2019 is a day both Kromah and her mother have been looking forward to for almost five years.
“It was hard,” Kromah, a senior mass communication major, said of getting to graduation. “I was working 80 hours a week sometimes with 140 hours every two weeks and still getting up (for classes at 8 a.m. after getting off 10–hour shifts at 5 a.m.). So sometimes, I’d come late to class and just come anyhow like with hair messed up. I was just telling myself I just got to make it to class. Then you have bills to pay, and things to do. I still kept that part (school) going because of [my mom]. I can’t wait to see her on graduation day.”
Kromah’s mother grew up in Africa without a lot of schooling, so she made it her mission to make sure all her children went to school when she brought them to the United States. Kromah’s older sister, Mariam, graduated from Mississippi State and is working on her master’s degree, and her younger sister, Matela, is working on an associate degree at Tarrant County College.
“Yeah, my mom’s a hero,” Kromah said. “She’s the reason that we all went to school. We all hate it, but whenever we graduate, she gets our degree and hangs it on her wall.”
Kromah, who has been working and going to school since she was 16, already has plans for her post-graduation life.
“After I graduate, I got a job with Amazon as an area manager,” Kromah said. “I want to get my master’s in marketing. I’m moving to Vegas to finally actually be with my husband, so I’m going to wait until I can actually get residency in Vegas. In the meantime, I’ll just be working.”
Kromah would eventually like to work for Amazon’s marketing team.
“Since I’ve been with Amazon since 2017 and I’m about to get an area management position, I kind of want to keep going,” Kromah said.
One lesson Kromah will take with her from Wesleyan is the need to be prepared.
“I was the type that always felt like they could pull anything out of their mind right away, just do it, and it’d be excellent,” Kromoah said. “But actually dealing with some of the classes, for example, Dr. (Kay) Colley’s classes, I’ve learned that it’s good to prepare. One of the biggest lessons that I learned in my college journey is to give yourself time, so that you can put your best work out there.”
Kromah’s favorite memories from Wesleyan are interviewing people for the Rambler, but she’s happiest to finally graduate.
“For someone like me, who’s always been in school and worked, I’ve always had a life outside of school,” Kromah said. “For me it’s one less thing I have to worry about. I can focus on exercising, my husband, work, and getting my health right. I can flourish and be the woman I want to be every day.”
Video by Hannah Onder