May through June many eager students finish their credits and classes to finally break free the holds of a school and receive a diploma verifying their achievements and training that they spent years trying to obtain. It’s a very happy time, though can be bittersweet because in it’s nature it represents an inevitable change in the world for a great many people.
This was how this year’s graduation felt, bittersweet. Never have I ever been so invested in the wellbeing of my upperclassmen as I have this past year. I have been to a great many graduations, but this one was a send-off to many people who I have spoken to, connected to, and love. I sat there thinking about this as one after one, each of my friends got up to be honored for their great achievements of which they all should be extremely proud. For a moment sitting there, I want them all to just stick around, for nothing to change, for next week just to be next week and not a path to something new.
I’m not an emotional person, I am extremely passionate but I am not one to tear up during these events. Why should I? I am so happy for these people to move forward with their lives, to find their new adventures and get on with their journeys. We still have our memories together right, they won’t forget these times together. Yeah sure, a couple months or years from now they might get busy but it won’t change our relationship, regardless of how much longer it takes them to reply. They will all be meeting new people, learning new things, and being great in their own way and staying will only hold them back, and they need to fly in their own way because there so much for them in the skies ahead.
Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet, and if it hasn’t it won’t for a while. Probably not until after everything settles down and I recognize how much I have gotten used to their presence. Maybe after not being able to hear their laugh in the hall, or being able to wander into the lab and talk about some far off idea, Maybe after starting to miss these strange conversations we would have, and missing the familiar faces I no longer see. I will miss them all in their own ways because they all mattered to me.
I am lucky, during graduation sat next to my friends who I have spent the last year with, working, growing, and laughing together. I will have them this next year as this stressful program continues to push us to the moment we are standing on stage graduating together. I am happy I still have them with me because if everyone left, I don’t know what I would do.
We will all see each other again, but my hope is when it comes time and I get up on that stage, that I am at least half as great as any of my friends I saw graduating today.