It’s strange being a college graduate. I’ve worked so hard for so long and it’s odd to think I won’t be going back to Morris in the fall. Still, the school sure does know how to send us off. The ceremony was everything a graduation should be and I loved soaking in every minute of it.
Having the event outside in the heart of campus, surrounded by all our class buildings, felt incredibly intimate. The mall was absolutely packed and, the whole time, it felt like the university was wrapping its arms around me–giving me a long, sweet farewell. The speeches and performances were on-point, and although the band sounded a bit off-key, marching forward to “Pomp and Circumstance” still made me tear up.
Our student body president and my fellow classmate gave a traditional speech reliving all our shared experiences. When she came to the end, though, she shied away from the cheesy/vague encouragement that normally infiltrates graduation speeches. Instead, she told us one simple thing: Remember the prairie.
I adore this piece of advice because it’s something tangible. She didn’t tell us to pursue our dreams, reach for the stars, follow our path, etc. (It’s funny, ’cause I draw from the path metaphor for inspiration on this blog.) She told us to look back at the place we came from and remember the way it shaped us. It’s a call to never forget where we have come from.
Since the ceremony last Saturday, I’ve moved home and am now one of the stereotypical unemployed English majors living with their parents. Mind you, this isn’t a permanent situation. My job hunt is going to be a non-traditional one, but it is already underway. In a few months, I’ll hopefully be on my way to setting out on my own.
To conclude this post… I came to the prairie four years ago to study what I’m passionate about. I cannot express how thankful I am for all the people I’ve met, lessons learned, and memories made. It’s been fun blogging my way through college. Although it’s time to embark on the next adventure, I will always have a special place in my heart for Morris. I will always remember the prairie.