Graduation – The Next Generation

So I graduated from college today. Not much else has changed since last I’ve posted, except I have one less worry. After the commencement ceremony today, I gave an interview for the Nittany Pride, the newspaper I was editor-in-chief of last year. In this interview, I was asked how it feels to be finished with college, especially after all this time. I paused, unsure what to say. It’s a question I should have expected, but for the life of me, it was a question I was unprepared to answer. How do I feel?

I certainly wasn’t about to go into any of the things that are really plaguing me, as they have no business in the press. I also don’t think that it something that anyone but me really cares about, as they aren’t the world’s problems, just my own. That’s why I’m trying not to dwell on them here, to limited success. I’ve got a lot to be grateful for, even if those things are hard to see close up.

Graduation is but the first, the tipping point so to speak, for a list of other things. I’ve received some cash along with praise from my family, who are pleased and proud. I honestly don’t think they felt that I would actually ever go back and get my degree. Proving to them that I could do it was one of my driving forces… after all, how could I be taken seriously if I didn’t finish the job I started and screwed up years ago?

I have received my graduation present from my parents as well… my Mom’s 2001 Toyota RAV4. When it was new, they told me that I would receive this car when I graduated. I just never thought that it would be 7 years old when I finally got it. At any rate, it’s a lot nicer than my ’96 Chevy Cavalier Shit-box.

Back to the question at hand: How do I feel? I responded to her question by saying that I felt institutionalized. Like Red from the Shawshank Redemption. I have spent so much time inside those walls that I can’t even begin to guess at what life will be like out in the world. Will I just survive or will i flourish? Will life be more like my first trip thought college, or the second? These are things that only time will show. Until then, I suppose that I must just take stock and reflect on what I’ve been through and where I’m going. After all, there are things to do!

I’ve got a few busy days coming up, and they will go a long way to taking my mind off of my downturn. I’ll be spending Christmas Eve with my family over at my cousin’s house, which should be a good time. Unlike a lot of families, I actually get along pretty well with mine. Then, Christmas Day (night) I’ve got a party to go to over at my friend Julie’s place. Her and her boyfriend are throwing a party and a bunch of people I worked with at the Clubhouse will be there. Finally, the day after Christmas, my TEP brother Virg and his wife will be in town (having visited with her family for Christmas). I will hang with them downtown that day and then take them out to the airport that night. I haven’t seen them in a while, so I’m sure it will be a good time.

After that, who knows? I’ve got a feeling that New Years is going to suck, but that is yet to be seen. I think a couple more of my TEP bros might be coming into town, so that could get interesting. For now, I’m just going to enjoy my new found freedom, my family and friends and my sanity, which will slowly return. After all, there are those who are in far worse places then I… like the residents of Cleveland. It must suck to be them.

“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” – Ronald Regan

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