As of about 4 PM Eastern time Sunday, I stopped being an undergraduate college student. Although it doesn’t surprise me that it occurred, I guess I just never thought the day would come. I remember seeing the date on documents even as I arrived as a Freshman, but, up until about four days ago, it was just an abstract concept.
That abstract concept became all too real as I put on my graduation garb on Sunday afternoon, just hoping that the ceremony would go smoothly, since inclement weather had been predicted in the forecast. However, what ended up happening was quite the opposite of smooth, unfortunately. After going back and forth between having it outside or inside, the final decision was made to have the ceremony outside. The only problem was, after that decision was officially made, the only course of action when weather turned bad was for the graduates to retreat into East College, where they would receive their degrees in MeHarry Hall. MeHarry could barely hold the graduates, meaning that a lot of parents did not have the opportunity to see their child cross the stage and receive their degree. As frustrating as it all was, to me it just seemed to be a terribly anticlimactic way to end our DePauw careers (and that was even with me being in the lucky minority to actually receive their degrees outside).
This has been a really difficult couple of days for me personally, as I’m sure any graduating senior can empathize, just because of how hard it is to part from those people who have served as a support system, becoming an integral part of the college experience. Every time someone left, it was like a family member telling you that you weren’t going to see them for a very, very long time. That’s really the worst part of it; in a majority of cases, especially if you go to a residential school not close to where you come from, you really don’t know when you will see those people again. Of course, today, the world is so much smaller; those people that I love and care about are probably reading this right now, but it’s certainly not the same as being able to share their company in person.
Nobody tells you when you show up to college, “So, four years from now, you’re probably going to have a hard time leaving this place.” I know it would have been a downer if an upperclassman had said to me, “Yeah, the last two weeks are UBER sad,” but I kind of wish I had had some kind of warning. The whole experience does support the old adage of “Time flies when you’re having fun”, but I wish someone had said, “Take it in everyday, no matter what; don’t let any of this slip past you.” Of course, this may be the immediate post-graduate-version of myself getting the best of me right now.
The title of the post is from the [Scrubs] theme song, “Superman” by Lazlo Bane. I had it on a mix CD that started playing as I was on my way home today and I just lost it. I never thought a banjo intro would elicit the reaction of uncontrollable sobbing and yet it did. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I knew what the lyrics were and what the song was about, and it made me think about how much it meant to my own experiences.
Well, I know what I’ve been told/
You got to work to feed the soul/
But I can’t do this all on my own/
No, I know, I’m no Superman/
I’m no Superman.
And, luckily, I didn’t do it all on my own; thank you to anyone who touched my life. No interaction or word was insignificant; just having you there along for the journey makes me grateful for you being there. As it says in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 3, verse 9, “For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.” Thank you for being my co-worker.