So this post is a lot later than I intended, but you’ll have to forgive me: I had a 12 hour drive back from school the day after graduation, two days at home, and then I traveled again for my graduation party with my relatives. So I’ve been busy. Suffice to say the following are my immediate reactions to graduating.
Well…here I am. I’m now a college graduate. And I really have no idea what to do with myself. Sure, I have plans: find a job, go to grad school in a year (maybe). And I’ve been accepted to grad school with a year’s deferral, so at least part of my plan is manifest and very real. But since it’s only been two days since the ceremony, I still feel a lot like this:
Four years ago I never really understood quite what graduation entailed. I knew I’d be leaving school, maybe going on to more schooling, maybe getting a job right away. But I didn’t realize quite what I’d be leaving. I began to get it, especially when I wrote this post in December, but I still only saw my exit from college at a distance.
These past few weeks, and these past few days, though, I found out what I was leaving behind: a new home and friendships I never thought I’d have. My family is wonderful, and I will always have a home with them; they’ll always love me and I’ll always love them, and I’ve known that all my life. But never before have I found a place where people not related to me, where people I had some measure of choice in hanging out with, loved me and cared about me. And they were right there, 24/7–I could go see them whenever I wanted. We could hang out in the student commons and stay up ’til 7AM having philosophical discussions, watching movies, playing video games, doing homework. We could just hop in the car and go for a midnight snack–or take a midnight walk to Walmart (yes, it became a thing).
Or I could go crying to them when I got stressed out by school, family, guys, and life in general. I even got the chance to be helpful to other people, dropping everything, skipping a class, to help them and showed them that I cared.
Never having had this kind of life before, I never knew what it was like to miss it.
Now I do.
The first few days after graduation were painful as heck because I was missing my friends. I really had never had that sort of community before: my family has moved around so many times that I’ve made very few lasting friendships. I love people, but I’m an introvert and very awkward when it comes to small talk and introducing myself, so the moving was hard on me.
I know I’m bad with long distance communication, so I got really scared that I wouldn’t stay in contact with anyone from college. Without my friends from college, I’d really have no one I talk to on a regular basis outside my family. Seriously. Luckily for me, that scared me into keeping in contact with them–and others have been texting and messaging me, so life is good so far. =)
And to be honest, I’m enjoying being back at home more than I thought I would. It’s familiar, Mom and Dad are here to help me with terrifying things known as “job searching” and “car insurance” and “Quicken” and “credit cards.” And I can squirrel away a ton of money with fewer expenses.
As much as I am enjoying being home again, and as much as it was very painful to leave my friends, I’m realizing that my college experience was a great one, and it helped form me and shape my character in a lot of ways. So I leave you with this song, that sort of sums up my feelings about the whole situation (not my favorite version, but not bad):