In a week from now I will have attended convocation and commencement ceremonies at NYU.
There is a strong feeling anticipated relief and liberation just thinking about going up on stage at Lincoln Center to receive my “diploma” Monday night as well as sitting with my classmates in Washington Square Park on Thursday morning. I’m a stone’s throw away from finishing graduate school and moving on to the next step in my career.
Yet that does not take away my slight anxiety over getting my thesis done as close to perfect as possible. The researching and writing of my thesis crystallizes every sacrifice I have made in my life. As a nerd in elementary and high school, my motivation for graduating was to be a better person and enter college on good standing. To that end, I was a bookworm to the nth degree and I eschewed many opportunities to go out and socialize with friends or even to try dating outside of school. While this attitude did help me immensely to enroll in the university of my choice (and get my tuition almost all paid for) it hurt me in that I was incredibly naïve and inept around other students and people. As if that weren’t enough my grades were shit for almost the entire time I was there. Yet even after my grades rebounded after transferring out, I could never get over the sensation that I was socially inept and dumb. Graduation followed by depression in grad school made a bad situation far worse and I’ve had to crawl and climb for nearly four years to get to the point that I am today- three months away from officially graduating and with many friends and acquaintances I’ve acquired by learning how to be better socially.
I often times think of all the mistakes I’ve made that have coalesced to challenge me. They’ve been minor and major, silly and serious, accidental and intentional. But all the errors in my life have allowed me to develop into a mentally and physically stronger person. Yes there have been very low times, yet in the end I’ve learned from my experiences and move on.
I have no idea how I will react during the convocation and commencement ceremonies next week- fear, sadness, excitement, anxiety, pride, joy. As of now, I’m too damn happy to worry about the myriad of feelings I’ll have in me, and I’m just going to enjoy things for what they are.