This past weekend, I became an official college graduate and an UIUC alumna!
I DIIIIIID IT, I DIIIID IT, I DIIIIIIID IT.
People keep asking me how I feel and honestly, it really hasn't hit me yet. It kind of just feels like another school year ended and that I am returning in the fall. I think the three moments when it did feel the most real was a) when I took cap/gown photos with my friends b) when I saw my dad waving at me from the audience during the ceremony c) when the college dean called us "U of I alumni."
U of I alumni, huh.
I just can't believe how quickly these four years went by...
I did have my emotional moments over the weekend and I was so grateful that family, friends, and the boyfriend drove down to celebrate this special moment with me — because they have just as much of a reason to be celebrated. I know many of my friends are so sad that they're leaving campus, and it is, but to me, it just feels so, so, so right. It feels right to graduate. It feels appropriate.
And I think that's because I tried my best to take advantage of the endless opportunities on campus and I had my fair share of what college had to offer. There were a lot of things on my "college bucket list" and for the most part, I'm lucky to check off some. In the last four years, I wrote for my school newspaper, played for the school lacrosse team, worked at a local coffee shop, competed in two case competitions, interned at two agencies, lived in dorms, lived in an apartment, studied abroad in Italy, chartered an RSO, won a free trip to NYC, co-led a small group, (finalllyyy) won a BIFF trophy, made the most wonderful group of friends and colleagues, and... landed a job to end it all. :)
It was, indeed, a good four years.
College was more than just receiving an education; and I know we hear this a lot, but it really was a space to grow, to live, to laugh... To take risks and walk out of your comfort zone, to eat junk food really late at night, to build a network and seek mentors, to find God and purpose and love...
So what happens next? What does real world and post-grad life look like? How do you navigate young adulthood? How do you navigate working life and a new city? How do you even look for an apartment? How do you search for a church? ... These are some of the questions floating in my new alumna brain because clearly there isn't a syllabus on how to do this anymore.
My blog is no longer a "college girl blog." I don't know what it is. But thank you for reading, thank you for following me since sophomore year. I don't know what life is going to look like anymore and I don't know what this blog is going to look like anymore, but I hope you will continue to follow along for the ride! :) Maybe I should make a new "20-something bucket list".... Is that what's next? #POSTGRADPROBLEMS.
CHEERS TO GRADUATING! HOOORAAAH CLASS OF 2014!