Let me start out by shamelessly admitting a truth. The day I submitted my graduation application form, I was secretly hoping I would be asked to deliver a speech during the pinning ceremony for International students. To my utter disappointment, that opportunity I was looking for, was given to two other International students for that ceremony. And fortunate or unfortunate enough for you guys, I decided to post this article.
I had gone over the speech quite a few times in my head and a couple of times in front of my bathroom mirror. I happen to be one of those people who get excited about speaking or sharing experiences in general. What I had planned to deliver that night was to share my experience; as an International student who spent four and half years of my life in a strange land, working on getting that degree. And here I am today, vaguely drafting that speech with a wine glass (and/or a bottle :P) on my hand, ready to raise a toast.
Looking back, I have definitely grown into a different individual. I look four years back, I was a young, dependent girl trying to fit into a new culture. My goals in life were different. Classes were easier, realistic world had not started kicking in yet. To break it down in simpler terms, understanding the American accent and finding on-campus job had to be the hardest struggles of all. Then I look two years back. A not-so-young, semi-independent woman lost in self conflict; and not to forget desperately wanting to graduate out of college. Figuring out what I wanted to do in life versus what was expected out of me. Realistic complications had started to kick in. Paying bills, figuring out classes, and balancing social & academic life were the biggest struggles of all.
And here I am today. Not-young-anymore, independent (almost), self-proclaimed blogger ;), and an unemployed woman surrounded by nothing but the real-world complications. Looking back, I frequently question my two-years-back self’s desperation to graduate out of college. Graduating out of college looks glitter and gold unless you are the one taking that walk down the stage to get that diploma. I am not saying it is the worst thing to happen but I am also not saying that it is the best thing of all to be worthy of that desperation. You can always slow down and take your time and get that degree in a right pace. I have seen people eager to graduate out of college just two years into it.
So today, when I have finally learnt to drink socially rather than drinking to get drunk (hopefully), I would like to raise a toast to those glorious four and half-ish years I spent in college to get my undergraduate degree. I have fallen down, gotten up, loved, lost, been broke enough to feed myself on ramen noodles, been rich enough to indulge myself on getting a gel-based manicure ;)(waste of money), procrastinated like a hare, and worked my butt off like crazy all these years. As I received that diploma on the D-day, I realized I was walking out with no regrets. There might have been things I did that I am not proud of today, but then again I always did what I wanted to do.
So to all the fellas who recently graduated out of college, let’s pat ourselves in the back for all the hard works we did. Having many dreams shattered right in front of our eyes and learning to rebuild new dreams picking up those shattered pieces, we have come a long way! The real world awaits for us now. Life may seem challenging, darker, difficult, and impossible; but always remember, as they say, “The fool didn’t know it was impossible, so he did it”.