It was actually quite sad for me to go fetch the degree, since I had to go wait for my family to finish another engagement. So as I sat in the student center, eating probably my last DCM Bar-One Mighty Muffin, I got to recollect all the time I'd spent on campus.
Although I can't say I'm bitter, I feel a little wistful when I think back. Because although I loved certain aspects of my life as a student, more or less half the time I'd spent studying was less than wonderful, because I'd effectively been trapped into doing something that I steadily grew to hate. Twice.
Still, I know that I had some wonderful times and that I'll miss my time as a student and that God had His reasons for letting me go through the tough times.
So I was sad to say farewell to my campus. Its sensations, sights, tastes, sounds and smells. Things that make up part of what used to be my home.
As I left, I thought I might one day return (there's a linguistics degree that might have my name on it), but it wouldn't be the same. I'll never again look around in class, excited and a little disbelieving that I'm there.
On the other hand, I now have the piece of paper that proves that I stuck through more than my fair share of sometimes hellish years. And I have the rest of my life stretching out in front of me.
And I am determined that I will follow my dreams and become what I want. Never again will I let people form my identity unless it's on my terms.
So here I am, in my bedroom, staring into my future, grateful to God and my family, excited, and a little disbelieving that I'm here.