Tomorrow morning I will be getting out of bed in the wee hours and getting all dressed up. Why you ask?
Tomorrow morning I graduate.
Graduation is a normal thing, and I almost didn’t write about it today so as not to add to the glut of “OMG graduation!!!!” blog posts that I’m sure are floating around on the internet right now. Not that there is anything wrong with being excited about graduating of course, but even though it is an exciting time, that sort of reaction is just not who I am.
I am not a super sentimental person. I understand that life changes happen and people have to move on to new phases and places, and I am one of those people who would rather embrace the change than be sad about it. It’s like a director I had for a while said: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” I’m also not going to treat it like it is the end of an era and nothing wil ever be the same again. It’s a big change, but I’m still me.
So graduation? Not a huge deal. I mean, it’s a big deal, but I’m not going to get all weepy. It’s just college.
Except it’s not.
This is what I am saying goodbye to tomorrow morning. This beautiful Castle on the Green has housed my family of friends, some of my hardest times and some of the happiest times, all while nurturing my mind and spirit. This is home for me in a way that very few places have ever been, and that’s what makes it difficult. I have relaxed in the grass with friends and professors. I have walked the sidewalks so often that I am surprised my footprints are not a part of the concrete. I have rung the bells in the clock tower. I have moved every three months for the past four years to be a part of this place. I have given it my heart and soul and this home has taken good care of them.
Tomorrow morning will be a culmination of all the laughter, tears, anger, hope, and work of the past four years. It still hasn’t really sunk in that this is it. I know it is, but I don’t feel it yet. Those feelings are going to be interesting, but if they must happen during the ceremony tomorrow I’m glad that I will be surrounded by the grey stone and mortar and my family of friends.
I could not have found a more perfect place to spend the last four years of my life and I am so proud to be receiving my degree from this amazing place. Oglethorpe is the best life decision I have made thus far and what I have learned here — in class and out — will live in my mind, my heart, and my actions for the rest of my life. I guess that’s what they meant when they said make a life, a living, and a difference.