I did it! I graduated (well practically, I just have to sit through 2 hours of speeches and name calling). And this is how I imagine it: the moment of hearing my name, walking across the stage, receiving my diploma, and turning my tassel went by incredibly fast, the road to Commencement has been an unforgettable eye-opening four-year journey.
It’s been made up of classes I’ve loved (like International Relations) and those I’ve hated (Computer Science 121, I’m talking to you and your binary number projects). There were those endless papers analyzing criminologcial and sociological theorists, ethical dilemmas, Durkheim’s Anomie, and acts of radical feminism. I worked on and cried over hundreds of math problems and graphs, all while reading books that would forever change me and the ways I think about the world around me. I wrote and edited paper after paper for numerous classes, while expanding my vocabulary from Karl Marx and Kant. All these academic experiences led me to learn things I would have never known if I strayed off on a different path.
Outside of school, I worked– a lot. There were the jobsI learned a lot at, and the ones that failed to utilize their programs to the full extent. There were the people in the business world I met that I admire and respected, and then there were the ones that made me promise myself “I will never end up like that.” I worked on several organizations some that I never expected in a million years to be apart of given past relations, and others that I have loved until the end, and then one that I formed with some of the most amazing ladies I will ever know.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking … why the hell is this girl telling us all this stuff? Why should I care about what she’s done?
Well, my point is that when I arrived on campus for the first time in August 2007, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know where I would go or who I would become, and I was scared. However, through my trepidation, I kept thinking about Dr. Seuss and his whole, “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” mantra. I couldn’t wait to see what would come my way, and I couldn’t wait to dive in head-first with the adventure that was about to start.
I don’t see why my post-grad life or anyone else’s should be anything less than excitement filled and hopeful, even if jobs aren’t available or graduate school dreams have changed. Just because the safety of undergrad isn’t there anymore doesn’t mean I can’t look forward to the things I’ll do, the places I’ll travel, and the people I’ll meet – everything that will become a part of my life towards achieving my future goals.
So, with graduation out of the way and a goodbye to a university that I felt incredibly ambivalent about, it’s time to start a new journey. Even though my family won’t be dropping me off at a dorm room for the next upcoming adventure in my life, I still have plenty to look forward to – and I can’t wait to see where my ship will sail next.
Four years ago, I started the crazy journey that is college. Though it doesn’t seem like four years ago; the entire experience flew by. It felt like just yesterday that I stepped foot onto Penn State’s main campus and now I’m packing up my apartment and heading off into some crazy unknown direction, also known as the casa de mama and papa.
Preparing to sit at graduation, I know I’ll be thinking, ‘how is this end?’ It just doesn’t feel real. I’m still waiting to wake up in my old dorm room, 4 years ago. I feel like I should still be attending classes, where I stopped going to learn the material, but more to hang out with the friends I’ve developed along the way. I feel like I should still be partying it up with my crazy friends who have made this one of the best experiences ever. I will never forget all our numerous inside jokes, and to be honest, I am petrified of a life without them. I know graduation changes friendships and it sucks.
College has been a great time and I’m by no means ready to say goodbye, or even see ya later.
I guess what I’m trying to get at is I’m not all that excited about having graduated. Yes, it’s exciting to have accomplished a major milestone, but it’s also a big life change that scares the living crap out of me. And to be honest, graduating didn’t help me in my book of life. Young freshman me thought by this time I would have such a clear understanding of “who I am.” And although it’s challenged me, at times I feel like I’ve only learned little tiny bits (like I actually do like wings, I’m a terrible beer drinker but awesome pong player…), if anything.
Perhaps it’s my jobless future, perhaps it’s that I’m saying goodbye to a second family, perhaps it’s because I’m saying goodbye to a school full of pride and traditions, but, well, I’m just not ready to say goodbye.
So freshmen, sophomores, juniors and next year’s seniors, I ask you (instead of lecturing you on life rules, that you won’t understand until you’re a graduate) to make the most of your college experience because IT WILL FLY BY, and it’s not fun saying goodbye.
And to my fellow Grads: Congrats, but I mean is anyone else just not all that excited about having graduated? Am I alone in this paralyzing fear? This gray, dreary place?
And to my liver: thanks for sticking with me for the past four years. Don’t worry – now that I’m staying with the parentals, you’ll get a much-needed vacay.