Graduation was a world wind of emotions. From relief to disdain, then stress to overjoyed, and back to being anxious. I could not have emotionally prepared myself for this past weekend. Everything I have been working for these past four years have all culminated to this one weekend, to this one ceremony, and to this one expensive piece of paper.
I had be dreading this day for several months leading up to it, for more reasons than one. The biggest reason was that I wouldn’t be able to share this day with the one person I wanted more than anything to be there. The other major reason was that I would have to say my final goodbyes to my best friends, who were taking their next steps all over the world. If you haven’t read my post about post grad, I suggest you go over and look at my post Bye Felicia: A Tale of The Girl Always Going Somewhere. It touches on my personal struggle with post grad depression and overall anxiety about the unknown.
When the weekend finally arrived, there were several issues that came up – naturally because nothing ever goes off without a hitch or two. I will not complain or point fingers, but I’ll just say that a lot of things happened that made the process of attending my ceremony, even more difficult. Regardless of the setbacks, I decided to focus on the positives of the day. For my sake, I knew that focusing on the negative would ruin this memory and I refused to do that!
All in all the ceremony was boring, really long, and everything I expected. I took in everything and savored the feeling of sitting amongst my peers. I looked for my friends and familiar faces. I felt proud that I made it to the seat I was sitting in. As the speeches dragged on, I thought back to all the all the sleepless nights, all the times I broke down in tears from stress and anxiety, all the assignments and research, and all the amazing opportunities I got from these last four years of my life. I was thankful and really thirsty (no water was available for 4 hours and it was a heat wave outside, yikes!).
After the ceremony, we went to a party that my friend’s family planned. It was amazing to meet the parents and family members of my close friends that I have never met before. It was also great to catch up with those family members that I already knew. Countless emotional moments and tears shed, the party happened smoothly. It broke my heart to say goodbye to everyone, but I got through each goodbye knowing that I would try my hardest to keep in touch with them.
For everyone graduating this year, I would like to congratulate you and wish you the brightest of futures. It took a lot for you to get here and you should feel so proud of yourself. I personally found myself regretting some of the decisions I made within my university career, but I had to stop myself and remind myself that everything happens for a reason. Opportunities will come to me and doors will open that are meant to. Not everyone’s path is the same and comparing yourself to the people around you isn’t healthy. You will find you way to your goals; just keep your eyes on the prize.