what it felt like to graduate.

Coming at ya with this bonus post in addition to my planned Wednesday content. Right now I am posting Monday, Wednesday, Friday at noon. Hope you enjoy! Thanks to everyone who has followed me so far, it’s been so fun to check out other blogger’s sites as well! And if anyone reading this has a question feel free to send me a message on the contact me tab. OK here we go, if you want to read about what I experienced after my graduation ceremony read on!

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Disclaimer: reading this after typing up all of my thoughts, and it clearly sounds negative. I just want to put out there that these were my honest and initial feelings that I wanted to remember moving forward. This was a tough transition for me but in no way has clouded my overall college experience or changed the fact that I am extremely grateful to have received such an amazing education. Graduating is a privilege and I recognize that, just wanted to put into words what myself and maybe even some of my friends have gone through during this stage.

 

 

So it’s been a month since I graduated. It feels like the days go by so slow, but the weeks go quick. Coming home has been more of an adjustment than I anticipated. At school, I was never homesick. And now somehow I am. Even though I am sitting here in my bedroom in this house. It’s the slow realization and process of recognizing that things will never be the same that somehow is able to surprise me when I wake up every day.

When I look back at this year even in particular, I think one of the biggest things I will remember is how hard it was to graduate early. I don’t regret doing it, but it took a lot of work. Fall semester of last year (2016) was one of the lowest points for me. I was exhausted, working 4 nights a week until past midnight at my on campus job, and interning 15 hours a week in addition to taking 18 credits. For the first time ever I can say that the classes and things I did that semester were difficult for me, and it was an odd type of blessing to experience something hard and exhausting and tough for the first time. So far high school and college had been challenging, but I still always felt like I could do more or learn more or experience more. Taking a break from some of my friendships and my social life to focus on my schoolwork is a decision I don’t regret.

Coming out of fall semester and into spring, I was tired of the semi crummy house I was living in. My classes which had gone from inspiring, difficult, and worthwhile also went to dull and uninteresting and easy. By May I was ready to leave.

My family was proud of me for graduating, but graduation itself and the traditions before it were more disappointing to me than I would have anticipated. For sorority senior traditions and my own school’s traditions for seniors I had heard them hyped up so much throughout the years, and when my time came I was not impressed. Maybe I am a tough crowd or maybe these activities and celebrations aren’t for me, but I found myself dreading to going to these different events. At them it seemed like everyone else had it figured out (which I know isn’t actually true) and I would sometimes leave feeling clueless and naive for leaving school at such a young age.

I had incorrectly assumed that when I walked across the stage on my graduation day I would feel the greatest sense of accomplishment or even better about myself than I did before. But I feel the same. Of course. My ceremony itself was smaller, my university broke up each individual school (there are 9 I believe) and my school, the School of Communication, had a smaller commencement ceremony because there were not many other graduates in my class in my particular year. The speaker had been a finalist on American Idol and his speech had clearly not been practiced or rehearsed, making all of us graduates and our families cringe in our seats as he fumbled through his address. It wasn’t the inspiring or viral-video-worthy Steve Jobs address I was hoping for. I am a big fan of speeches and even TED talks and I was hoping for one that day that would change my life. Maybe I shouldn’t have also read a collection of the world’s best commencement addresses the month before. Again, here I am with the inflated expectations and unrealistic vision of what my ceremony would be like. Nonetheless I was disappointed and had to internally deal with that, while also texting my friends and family back in 3 different group messages about the totally awkward and problematic statements this American Idol speaker was making.

I guess what I am trying to say is that it was a lot of work. And to finish it all and walk away is hard. One day you are in Starbucks for 5 hours, and in the library until 3am, and then just a day later you are walking across a stage with a name card in your hand to shake the hand of your university’s President you have never spoken to before.

Talking to friends in my graduating class I have realized that there can be a let down for others too. Maybe in different ways but leaving school is rarely what one would expect. It’s harder and easier and weirder than I thought it would be.

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