My Graduation: Expectation Vs. Reality
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My Graduation: Expectation Vs. Reality

Most people graduate in their lifetime, and this is my story.

My Graduation: Expectation Vs. Reality
Courtney Smith via Viralpirate

Well, if you all don’t know, I will be graduating from the University of Louisiana at Monroe on December 10, 2016. By the time this article will be released, I would have already made my way across the stage and celebrated. That’s why this article will be a little bit different. Instead of writing one continuous article, I’m going to break it up into two. The first half will be how I imagine my graduation to go, and the second half will be what really happened. What better what to start than to jump right into it, huh?

In my imagination, I see myself waking up a bit later since my alarm clock didn’t go off the way it was supposed to. Graduates are supposed to be at the Fant-Ewing coliseum by 9:00 AM, but of course I’ll be late. That would just be me. After rushing to get dressed and spending thirty or so minutes on the interstate from Ruston to Monroe, I’ll be even more delayed due to heavy traffic. That’s fine though, because it only takes me fifteen minutes to find a parking spot.

After running into the building late, I’ll find my spot in line and wait somewhat impatiently for the next part of the ceremony. Then we walk into the main coliseum surrounded by our family and friends and I feel just as blank as I did before, if not anxious to get it over with. Then after what feels like hours, we’ll go up to get our diplomas and shake hands with the President of the University. Then, just by my luck and I hope to God it doesn’t happen, I manage to trip over my gown or my own big feet and crash into whatever’s in front of me. Horrific.

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After embarrassing myself in front of over 700 people and their families and friends, I’ll manage to get back to my seat and the rest of the evening will go by in a blur. This was my warped expectation of what would happen, but did it really happen like that? Nope.

I managed to wake up three hours earlier than I was supposed to, and I couldn’t believe that the day had finally come. I wasn’t the only one with graduation jitters because my grandmother and my aunt were up right along with me. My grandmother revealed that she was so grateful that she was able to see me walk across the stage and how she was so proud of me, but I still felt kind of blank. A little nervous, but still blank.

I left my house before everyone else and managed to get to the campus on time. There wasn’t even any traffic. Isn’t that amazing? After parking, I made my way into the coliseum and found my spot in line. I realized in that moment that I don’t show too much emotion through my face, but it all came out through my hands. I was more fidgety than when Anastasia was going to see her grandmother at the opera for the first time.

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I wasn’t the only one that was nervous, anxious, and excited, though. All around me, people were buzzing with energy and conversation. I think that in the moment we all became friends and bonded over the impending ceremony. To my surprise, the ceremony ran just a few minutes later than what I was expecting, but it was fine. We kept each other company and helped to joke away the nervousness.

It didn’t seem real to me until I walked through that threshold into a room filled with possibly hundreds of people. Cheers erupted from all over the place, and I couldn’t believe that this was finally happening. After making it to our seats, the rest of the ceremony seemed to go by like we were in a fairy tale. Did I trip walking across the stage? Nope. According to my friends I glided across and looked fabulous.

The people that were seated next to me kept me laughing, and awake. I should’ve tried to sleep a little bit longer than I did, but it was all fine. When everything was over, we all walked out of the building to our own respective celebratory parties. I don’t know why I was actually amazed that so many of my family and friends had shown up for me. It meant so much to see them there, and to the people that couldn’t make it for good reason…I understand. Just wish I could’ve seen you all there with me.

Now that this chapter of my life is over, I have to figure out what I’m going to do next. Everyone wants me to continue on to get my Masters, but being an English major is hard! My brain needs a break before I hop back into it. And yes, I do believe that I will get back into it sooner than later. Right now I just want to live in the present and enjoy this moment… I’m happy. I’m relieved. I’m at peace right now. Most of all? I made it!


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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