The metaphor of life as a book seems to be a popular one. I couldn’t begin to count the number of times in the past few weeks I’ve heard people equate the end of the year to the end of a sentence or, for seniors like myself especially, the end of a chapter.
Personally, I think this analogy falls a little short. I’ve read a decent number of books in my day, and in my experience, each chapter more or less looks something like the previous. The details change, of course, but the major components–characters, setting, general story line–stay the same. That doesn’t seem to work with college graduation. I’m not continuing on to graduate school, and because of that, even the major components of my life are changing this time. To me, a new volume of life seems like a better way to put this than a new chapter.
On Sunday, Volume II: Formal Education ended and Volume III: Working Life began. (Volume I, in case you’re wondering, would be subtitled “I Don’t Remember This Because I Was Under Three” 🙂 ). I am now officially a college graduate.
Graduating wasn’t easy. My school always tries to hold commencement outside because our football stadium can hold almost double the number of people that our basketball arena can hold. The forecast for Sunday went back and forth all week, but by Saturday it was looking promising. We knew an official decision would be made by the 9:30 a.m. Baccalaureate service. However, the weather was iffy all morning Sunday, and the decision was delayed until the 11:30 service. At that point, our college president announced that graduation would be held outside, which was a huge relief. Each graduate is allotted four tickets if graduation is held inside, but I had fifteen people coming. I needed graduation to be outside.
Then this happened:
That was followed by a thunderstorm, which led to this:
Which ended up turning into this:
After all us graduates were herded inside, they decided to switch venues because of the weather. We moved from the tennis center to the basketball arena, and, about an hour after the scheduled time, graduation commenced.
I still haven’t wrapped my mind around the fact that I am done with school. I may go back some day to get my masters, but that day is in the very distant future. Now, though, I’m about to become a Real Person.
In five or six weeks, I’ll really begin Volume III when I pack up all my belongings and move to Chicago, where I was blessed enough to find a full time job. There are still a lot of unknowns, but I’m thrilled to be moving back to the city that’s had my heart since January of last year.