I Graduated and I’m Feeling all the Things

Jessica NIA Graduation May 2019

Every time I come on this platform, it seems like I’m apologizing for not being present, but I think I’ve got a good excuse this time. I graduated on May 11th and it was one of the best days of my life. Some girls’ idea of a fairytale is an extravagant wedding, with a pretty white dress, and an extravagant reception, but graduation day was my fairytale.

Jessica Mack on Graduation Day

I know that might sound crazy, but I’ve always been passionate about learning. I believe that I’ve properly earned the title of nerd and geek. I was that student who actually liked doing the readings for English class and writing papers for art history. One of my greatest accomplishments was my paper on Kehinde Wiley. I always make the joke that I should have been an English major instead of double majoring in Computing in the Arts and Studio Art. College was one of the most challenging times of my life, so it was really breathtaking to make it to the other side.

For graduation, girls wore white dresses while holding bouquets and guys wore black pants and white dinner jackets. We were all corralled into a building so that we could put ourselves in order. Just before I sped off to go to my designated area, I was informed that I got a Latin Honors medal. I was really confused because I didn’t take a Latin course and I had no special Latin qualifications, but then I figured that they meant that I was Cum Laude.

I may be book smart, but I’m not street smart.

Anyway, it was a day full of hurrying up to wait, from lining up to ceremoniously seating ourselves, and each of us getting back up to shake the hands of the faculty. We received our rolled piece of printer paper tied off with a blue ribbon continuing until we got to the last person and everyone rejoiced with raucous applause. One of the prettiest sites was seeing all those pieces of paper flying in the air. Afterwards, my parents got to meet my professors and I went home with a smile on my face.

For anyone that’s wondering if you can make it through all the craziness of college, you can. I personally want to tell any future graduates to enjoy your graduation day. I know we all have different circumstances, but I want you to relish in the fact that you did it. I hope that you feel a sense of satisfaction when it hits you that this stage of your life is completed.
Don’t think about the next year, the next month, or even the next week. Forget about grad school starting in a few months. Forget about the fact that you’re still looking for a job. Forget that you’re about to start a new job. For that day, I just want you to celebrate your milestone.

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