I graduated today! I have this honors cord to prove it:
Well, not really. I found it on the floor AT a commencement ceremony. Specifically, the University of Rhode Island’s 127th commencement ceremony. For you see, I am only a junior elect (like president elect, because I won’t “technically” begin my junior year until the Fall). I was an usher at commencement, therefore I had the responsibility of greeting parents. I kind of felt like Olivia Benson. Like Olivia Benson undercover, not Olivia Benson in the interrogation room (that was finals week). So there I was, admiring the soon to be graduates with their caps and gowns and bougie stoles and cords as I wore my mustard yellow shirt with the words “commencement staff” on the back. My outfit screamed poor undergraduate student who wanted to watch graduation and get paid $40 to watch grandparents yelling at parents yelling at annoyed graduates. It was quite magical. But really, the excitement in the air was making me emotional. If you know me, you know I don’t get emotional in public. Unless there’s a 99 cent iced coffee day at Dunkin’, then its tears galore. But seeing families and friends walk proudly to the doors of the Ryan Center to watch their graduate walk the stage was amazing. People were proud of their sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, granddaughters, best friends, etc. Students were proud of themselves. That’s pride right there. Not that “I’m mad prideful that’s why I have my guard up and I can’t admit when I’m wrong and I love me and my 134 likes on Instagram” pride. The pride I saw was that “I’m satisfied with what I have achieved, what I have worked towards, and what my peers have worked towards.” Though I worked commencement last year, I actually knew a lot more people graduating this year. Yo. Seeing my friends in line to receive their degree(s) was inspiring. My beautiful Powerful, Independent, Notoriously Knowledgable sisters really exemplify what we stand for; our mission as women of color to strive for academic excellence. My Brothers are On a New Direction in their lives; they’ve begun building a foundation for nothing but success. Seeing people who look like me, went to the same schools I went to, faced similar struggles in the first phase of college like I did was making me emotional because they proved its possible. There’s no excuse for me to be lazy or cry and complain that its too much pressure because its been achieved and its been achieved greatly. Every single graduate is proof that you can do it. For me, sophomore year was…different. I questioned many things. My majors, my current goals, future goals, my ability, and my strength. Should I commute, should I take a break or should I transfer (HELLZ NO RHODY RAM 4 LYFE). But what I have to remember is that its just 4 years of hard work and of giving it my best. All of this that I’m writing right now is “cliché” but I never really applied it to me. That I really need to sit my ass down and read. Not just read, but understand, analyze, and critique. I can’t play the blame game and try and blame my old high school or low SAT scores or a runny nose or my running out of ink because guess what we’re all humans and that shit really happens to everyone. It might not be exact situations, but we all have our own struggles. That’s the beauty of college though is that we relate to people we never imagined were experiencing similar situations or feelings that we were experiencing. So seeing over a thousand graduates lining up together for one common purpose was emotional. I felt happy for people I didn’t even know. Gawd, Im such a creepah. But I couldn’t help it. Higher education is beautiful. You not only challenge yourself intellectually, but you also learn who you are as a person. Commencement is where the knowledge obtained through education is acknowledged. Commencement is the beginning of one expanding his or her knowledge. GOD I LOVE THINKING ABOUT THINKING. What did I gain from today? Well, $40. But I also gained an emotional experience. Witnessing the result of pure joy and happiness of hard work. I witnessed possibilities transforming into realities. And we all know that there is no such thing as impossible because Ariana Grande and Mac Miller made a song together. Today was a good day.
“CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2013. BACHELOR DEGREES, MASTER DEGREES, DOCTORATE DEGREES. GO IN HOMIES, GO IN” -DJ Khaled, probably