It actually happened. After four years of undergraduate studies, I found myself sitting in the gym – nearly unrecognizable due to its transformation into a ceremonial theater – in my cap and gown, giggling with anticipation with my fellow classmates as we listened to the many speeches that marked this special day. We adjusted our robes a thousand times, making sure our bobby pins were holding our hats firmly in place, and that our yellow hoods were worn correctly to show our degree colors. After the masters students and many other bachelor students were announced, it was finally our turn. Our row, second-to-last of all the graduates for the day, stood up and made our way towards the aisle, and finally the stage. One photo op before we strode up the ramp and awaited our turn. Of course, the name got butchered. I guess it wouldn’t be right if my name wasn’t butchered. It’s deceivingly simple, I guess
The lights were blinding. I was pretty grateful for that; it kept me from staring out into the sea of faces (hello, stage fright). I received my scroll, a gift, and shook many hands, and just like that – it was over. I was out of the heat of the stage lights and back into the darkness of the gym as I walked down the ramp. One more picture, and I was following my friend back to our seats. She turned around and said, “That wasn’t so bad.” No, it wasn’t.
We cheered, clapped, and roared for our class as the ceremony came to a close. We are the class of 2012. After hearing it for what seemed like ages, our moment was finally here. It was exhilarating. And when it was over, my parents and my best friends were there to celebrate with me. My mom and dad had brought a bouquet of flowers – school colors, of course 🙂 – and my best friend/roommate gave me a graduation teddy bear (see above!), who I later named Twinkie. I was the typical graduate, with flowers and and a teddy bear, and I loved every second of it. We took countless pictures with multiple cameras (thanks, roomie for being the official photographer!) by our mascot and in my beloved new science building.
This graduation day was everything I could have asked for and more. It’s amazing to think it’s already come and gone, but thankfully I have the pictures to prove it 😉