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The non-secret to graduating

Another semester, another ceremony. It’s time to suit up, my fellow grads. Grab your wizard robes, funny tasseled hats and camera-toting relatives.

I am supposed to write about how I got to graduation. However, I can’t say that I have done anything especially novel from any other student. I’ve see you all out there, the parents juggling toddlers and textbooks, and the students in class in their work uniforms before their shift. I’ve seen you taking naps between classes and on the shuttle at 7 a.m. I also keep seeing this girl in the fourth-floor union building bathroom who is doing her homework. Who are you, girl? That’s no place to do your homework.

Anyway, as diverse as the WSU campus is, we are all united on this goal of graduation. I made it to graduation by focusing on my education, working three jobs to pay for it, and being lucky enough to receive three scholarships from amazing donors. Hard work is how you get to graduation, and this isn’t anything new to students.

It pays off, too. I am leaving WSU with an education, the ability to ask questions and make decisions, and a marketable skillset that will hopefully lead me to more opportunities someday. I am leaving with memories, new friends, and this really great story about how one time an English professor asked me if I’m an exotic dancer. I am not, by the way.

During these past four (OK, five) years, I have had the opportunity to become part of a community. I have had the chance to take away knowledge and new perspectives from people who have sincerely cared about shaping me into a well-rounded person. While I am excited to have my degree, I am also experiencing a bittersweetness about leaving.

Saying goodbye is never an easy thing, but for me, this is more of a bowing out than a final parting. College is something with a very clear ending (for most people — no offense to the super-seniors and undeclareds out there). It is a happy goodbye. It’s like between how sad I get when Spock dies in “The Wrath of Khan” and how happy I get when he returns in “The Search for Spock.”

Mostly I’m tired. I feel like I’m busted and malleable. Milestones like these are kind of like defeating Bowser and finding out that Princess Peach is in another castle. You can pause the game for a minute, but you know you’re not going to rest until every level is beat and you can wipe the smug look off of that mushroom guy’s face. Or whatever.

Many other Wildcats will be graduating with me on the 14th. Congratulations and godspeed to everyone. I hope you are as excited about sleeping again as I am.

For those of you who aren’t yet to graduation, try to pace yourself and do the things you think you would regret missing out on in college. Go to the homecoming dance or make time for that convocation speech. Work for the school paper (I bet there’s at least one opening coming up soon . . .) and make friends with the people in your class. Most importantly, keep working hard.

Well, so long, Weber State. Onward to the post-collegiate cat lady life I go.

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