It’s official! I’ve marked yet another milestone in my life, and I was extremely lucky to be able to do so in the presence of my loved ones! Of course, there were those who were notably absent due to distance, but they were in my heart.
The entire night was very surreal – first, I must thank the powers that be for providing GOOD weather!! Yesterday was blissfully in the high 80s and the sun was mostly inconspicuous. During the day, we all went to the Target Portrait Studio for some professional photos – they turned out great! Stay tuned for them in a couple of weeks. Then, we headed to campus, where I checked-in and then posed with my dearests. My wonderful boyfriend was our photographer, and the mementos came out beautifully! At around seven, I joined a couple of my friends in the sea of maroon and gold, and we made our way through the campus and to our seats. About forty minutes later, I got on the stage to shake the dean’s hand and receive my the holder that will ultimately house my diploma ! Sadly, even though we each handed the announcer a name card with phonetic spelling of our names, the lady with the thick accent massacred my name. Nonetheless, I graduated!!
I don’t think it fully hit me what it meant until I took a look around and realized that the West campus wouldn’t be my home base anymore. No matter what, even though I plan to continue on with my education at the main campus, it’ll never be the same. It was bittersweet; these past four years have molded me in so many subtle ways. I met some great people, spent an amazing year at U of A, had a news story published on the front page of the East Valley Tribune, took a politics course that really awakened me, discovered a deep love for feminism and Women’s Studies, had some debates with people who were my polar opposites, found my strengths in psychology, kicked butt at Advanced Statistics, suffered painfully through chemistry and biology courses that swelled with over 200 people, dreaded each exam for my online geology course, and even managed to learned a little bit about world religions.
I am honored to graduate summa cum laude, and I’m even more honored at how proud my family is of me! I really couldn’t have done it without them. I couldn’t have done it without my parents. They really are extraordinary! They came to America to fulfill the embodiment of the American dream, and in some ways I’ve helped them do that with this milestone. When I’m surrounded by other college students with fascinating stories of how they ended up where they are despite seeing war and poverty, my own story seems very privileged. I owe it to my parents for making the impossible decisions that they did in order to get me where I am today! A college graduate…I say, I do like the ring of that. 🙂