***To be truthful with y'all, I do not know how I really want to approach this blog about my graduation but as usual I will just approach this as a free-write and see where this takes me.***
The moment has finally arrived - MY COLLEGE GRADUATION. I truly have been waited for this moment for a long yet fruitful 6 1/2 years in Dec 2017 (although I walked the following May 2018 since SDSU only does one graduation ceremony). In many ways, in these long amount of time, my life has changed so much, I have changed so much. I wasn't the same effervescent Edrian that started at Grossmont College back in 2011, but now graduating is a much wiser and stronger version of myself. My experiences in college have taught me so many things and now that I have finally reached this point, it feels so damn good to finally have the icing on this cake - AND TO FINALLY CLOSE THIS CHAPTER AND START THE NEXT ONE.
Since it took me so long to graduate with my undergraduates in college, I have learned so much throughout the years and I thought I'd quickly share some of these with y'all: (in no significant order)
- "THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO RUSH" - Although my parents specifically my dad has always pressured me to finish as fast I can so I can graduate in the "standard track". First of all, no one really graduates in 4 years anymore due to many things such as a lack of classes being offered, resources, overpopulation, and whatnot. Second, a lot of my friends/people that I know have said that they wished that they finished an extra year later so they can really have the time to explore what they wanted, instead of the feeling of just coming IN and OUT. Lastly, I am so proud to say that I graduated in 6.5 years later versus 4 because I don't think my 23-year-old self would've been mature enough to handle a lot of things I am now facing as a 26-year-old in the workforce + real world. So, thank you for that.
- "THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO COMPARE" - A lot of my friends had graduated in 4 years and I couldn't help but feel inferior because of that. I could NOT stop comparing myself to others because life and many milestones were already happening to them. At some point, I asked myself, "am I NOT good enough, why aren't things happening now like they should." Then I mainly realized that life is not about checking off your life away to fit a very standard expectation. So what if I didn't graduate in 4 years, nor pursued a degree/career in the medical field. I am my own person that simply needed more time to get to know myself and love myself. This is where the concept of "expectations vs. reality" really bit me in the butt because all of my expectations (or rather the lack of meeting them) had really caused me to become hypercritical of myself and my journey in life.) At the end just like the quote by Zen Chin, "a flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms." I truly believe that we are all flowers that are constantly blossoming in our time and our own way.
- "THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT WAY TO DO THIS" - I know this may sound very strange but I really think that college is the best time to explore all of your faces - identity, fears, interests, dreams, and etc. Because once you're out there in the real world working, it can become harder to have the opportunity for self-exploration. Make all of the mistakes you want to make now so you don't make them again in the future (however, I am not condoning stupidity for the sake of stupidity), do things that are OUT of your comfort zone so you may realize what lies ahead of your inner spectrum - for all you know, you may discover your true PURPOSE in life through this and lastly, you ABSOLUTELY owe it to yourself to grow as person like the butterfly we are meant to become in this metamorphosis that we call college so that when the time finally comes - you are READY to soar.
(I don't think is completely possible to even sum up everything I have learned in college in 6.5 years in this post but however, these are some of the ones that I am mainly taking away and wanted to share.)
Looking back at the ceremony last week, the air was filled with so much love, hope and celebration. I really loved how everyone was very expressive of their happiness for one another. I haven't felt this kind feeling in a very long time. This day finally marks the closing of this chapter awaiting for the new one to come. All of the laughters, tears, memories created and lessons learned all for this one simple moment of celebration. I feel like, I want to say more but I think I'll just live, embody and keep them treasured in my heart for as long as I can.
Lastly, I want to thank you my dear family and friends who came and showed support in this very special momentous moment for me.
And to be able to give my mother this college degree as my Mother's Day gift was the true icing on this cake.
Well... this penguin is finally a college graduate y'all!
Till the next time.