Graduating – Still Alive

Graduating Clemens and Sharon After four years of suffering, the last month was by far the most enjoyable. It has been an absolutely surreal experience.  Free time for extra hours of sleep? uhhh, not exactly… no… I think I was recovering from the parties and the outings during the mornings.  Breakfast was at the crack of noon and bedtime shifted to the next day.  My internal clock still has trouble adjusting to a normal schedule.

I lost track of the date, the day of the week, and even the hours.  More and more time was sucked into exploring the Internet and absorbing every article about recent news and travel.  Rather than dipping my finger into all the different hobbies, I refined my search to … umm … still too many hobbies.  There is just too much to learn in the technical and the social.  Every drunken night was accompanied by drunken conversations and truly happy memories with unique and bright individuals.  I’m very glad I had the opportunity to live what I consider a normal college celebration.

The new Cooper Alumni all have intricate plans.  Each following their path towards some type of happiness – whether it be security, wealth, or intellect.  I am very proud to be a part of this graduating class.  Although all graduation speeches try to inject one last bit of inspiration into our minds before moving forward, I think Rodrigo put it best.  He reminded us that we survived hell, and gained from it the ability to learn.  The ability to observe, think, and conclude based on our best judgments.  Just because we have not tasted every cheap alcohol, or won metals for beer pong, or even had one night stands, we’ve benefited with the tools to accomplish anything we set our minds on.  Of course, we can also access our situations enough to make these goals rational and realistic.

We’re all afraid of growing up.  Don’t you wish we could just stop time or at the very least slow it down?  Our memories keep many of these experiences alive to relive again at our older age.  It’s actually the reason I’ve been writing in my journals for so long.  Just the other day, I reread all the mushy emails with significant others and random updates on noteworthy events throughout college.  There were so many that reminded me of dorm life, concerts, and naive opinions/reflections.  Perhaps the more formal blogs will stray from my true stream of consciousness, but the next stage in life will probably not be as exciting.  I’m glad I stayed consistent, and I hope these thoughts will bring me those short bursts of happiness later in life.

Life is a highway… my parents and teachers were the stripes and guard rails.  Those potholes and near accidents with other drivers could only be avoided through personal experience.  I probably hit one of those on the way to my unknown destination.  I know most are like me, and just had to ram into one to really take the advice to heart.  Trial and error sometimes works best (or in this case a large dent in the car).  I’m deciding my own path and where it leads, but sometimes I’ll follow the traffic of friends.

I can only hope that this car doesn’t stay empty… that my passenger will be beautiful to me and not change the radio station or complain while I’m driving.  If she tries to change my course, I might just have to kick her out of the car… unless I am really that crazy for her.  Further down the road, I’ll have a baby seat in the back. Then I’ll eventually have to take out a mortgage to buy a few more cars… that’s too far ahead to think about.

Well, the stepping stones in education have come to an end, but I’m sure I’ll never stop learning.  I’m taking my chances and “taking it to the max.”

Congratulations to all who have made it this far, and best of luck on all your future endeavors.  Believe in miracles :-D.

~See Lemons Graduate