• Fashion is about what you wear. Style is about how you live your life. ~Ralph Lauren

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Caps, Gowns, and Memories

Yesterday was graduation at the college I work at.  It's a day I really look forward to for many reasons.  Selfishly, it means the campus will be empty for a few months and I can have some quiet office time.  But more importantly, I look forward to this day because I like watching the students have this moment that they've worked for four years.  This year, I felt a little sad too.  Again, selfishly because I will miss seeing a few of my favorite students on a daily basis.  There are lots of students that come and go but there are always a few that I feel extra proud to have known. 

Me and LBL before the ceremony.   Awful picture of me but regalia is never cute.  blah.
 SC and I after the ceremony. 
 My favorite part of the graduation ceremony?  The bagpipes.  If I ever get married, I want bagpipes at my wedding. 
 During the entire ceremony, I had to stand in the isle to help with crowd control.  This ceremony was about 2 hours.  But my feet felt like it was 7.  While I was watching the students walk across the stage to receive their degrees, I started thinking about my own graduations and remembering how I felt during each ceremony.  All of them were slightly boring so I don't remember much about the actual ceremony.  What I do remember is the excitement, the anxiety, and the pride I felt in my school and my classmates.  And at each one I was wondering where my parents were in the crowd and hoping they were proud of me. I felt like today would be a good time to walk down my memory lane....

At HS graduation.  I sat in the front row because I was a reader of parent letters.  I was so excited this day but also so anxious about how my life was about to change.  I was moving back from Germany to the states and I was never going to see most of my 64 classmates again.  But I felt proud when I walked across the stage and they announced my post high school plans of going to college and becoming an elementary teacher. 
 On my college graduation day.  Yes, I did get a teaching degree proudly from the same school that my grandmother and other family members attended.    What I remember clearly about this day was getting up really early, sitting on the front steps of my residence hall where I was an RA and painting my nails in an effort to forget how hungover I was already.  I went out like a rock start the night before.  For a few minutes I thought I might be too sick to walk through graduation but I pulled through.  I was super excited to be a college graduate but I was really sad that college was over.  And I remember being really annoyed with the lining up of graduates in the student union and vowed that I would never walk through my masters ceremony. 
But what did I know.  Six years after I graduated from college, I once again put on a black robe and added a hood to my regalia.  I remember being really happy to be done with my master's degree and laughing a lot with my cohort during the ceremony.  I remember feeling really proud to have graduated from Syracuse because I know my dad was happy about that. I was also anxious about the future.   But that day, it was about my friends and the laughter that got us through the last two years.  It was nice because we had a cohort reception with our families. 
 Me and Dad

Every year I'm lucky to watch a new batch of students graduate and have their own moment.  I see the same excitement, anxiety and pride in their faces and I can't help but smile with a tear in my eye because these are the moments and feelings that they'll tell in the story of their graduation day.

What do you remember most about your graduation days?

1 comment:

Angie said...

great pictures! Our graduation is always bittersweet for me.
Your hair was SO short when you graduated with your Master's. I love that pic of you and your Dad!