This is the singlemost prestigious event in a persons life, marking the end of a 20+ years of academics.
This year, my sister and brother in law both graduated. The ceremonies were for different universities, different subjects, and countries apart. Yet, I know for them both, this was the most nerve wrecking day of their lives. This event meant freedom and fear at the same time. Freedom from the responsibility of passing school, fear of the unknown.
We all prepare for this day since Class 1. I was previleged to go to a school which engraved the importance of graduation for me in KG2. We had a “preschool” graduation ceremony which helped me visualise my graduation day, throughout my academic years. And when I graduated, it felt like I no longer have a safety net, it felt like I was freefalling, but I was happy; ready, motivated and driven to take on to the new unknown world. I had a thirst to prove myself, a desire to prove that I was worth the Gown and the Hat. For me graduation, was an advanced reward, which did not come for free. Apart from the Uni fees, credit card debt, working double shifts to pay the bills, the books, the experience, the preparation to face life, graduating meant an identity, a position, a status and a motivation if all went black in the real world.
See, the next hurdles for both Sara and Rajib will be making a mark on their careers along with the rest of their peers. Finding a proper job, adjusting to adulting, keeping up with office and work politics, keeping up with horrible bosses and colleagues. And in those dark dark days, the simple thought of the Hat and the Gown will be their icon of success and personal achievement. They did it before, they can do it again and again and again.
Here’s to all graduates and newcomers, make one change at a time 🙂