I have graduated.
A million thoughts fill my head in the four days that have passed since Joe Biden’s politically charged ‘murica speech, the wearing of gowns, the fluster surrounding photo-taking.
Wonderment: at the numerous students crossing the stage to cheers from the crowd. At the achievements they’ve accomplished, scholastic or otherwise. Am I supposed to know who they are? Should I have worked hard to get special mention in that 257th Commencement book?
Fear: that my entire four years here have been shrouded in utter mediocrity. Of returning home, safe and familiar, but no longer independent and free. Of work, and its unforeseeable horizon, and salary-envy.
Difficult goodbye hugs masked with smiles and promises to keep in touch. A nagging feeling that the emails and Whatsapp messages will taper off.
‘Congratulations!’ yelled Amy Gutmann. And in that moment, all I could think about was how I never got round to taking a picture with our President.
Flurry of Facebook statuses over the last couple of days: “Thanks Penn, it’s been real.” But this has been a dream I’m not ready to wake up from.
There will never be anything like college again. What a beautiful tragedy.
______________I’ll update again in a couple of days or so (I’m gonna try updating on a regular schedule). Graduation has been a whirlwind of running about. I’m taking my parents about the East/West Coast (we’re in SF now), and A & I will be headed on our exciting Trans-Mongolian adventure in a week. And yet… there’s a tinge to sadness to all of this.