Thursday, June 14, 2012

4 years 51 weeks

So it was the end before, but for real, guys - now it's the end. I just turned in my final paper and gave my final presentation in my final class of my college education. Naturally, I pulled an all-nighter to finish the paper and quipped on Facebook that my education would've felt wrong to end any other way. I left work a little early to make sure I had everything edited and could print out the paper on campus without feeling rushed which left me with about thirty minutes to kill before the final officially started. I sat in the shade of a tree in front of the Joseph Fielding Smith building and people watched as I slowly crunched what I hope is my last ever, vending machine delivered Lunchable.

I was torn between posting a Facebook status containing a link to a video with explicit lyrics that sums up how I feel about some aspects of academia, BYU administration, and some choice professors. Then I thought of just posting MoTab singing "Joy to the World" and letting my pure bliss override any bitterness I feel about certain aspects of my education. In the end, I chose neither, but will instead write this blog post.

Sitting in my class, I thought that I should call my mom when I leave and give her the official news - I am officially graduated. Then I thought about how happy she would be, and I almost started crying. Then I thought about how there was no question if I called my dad he would start crying (meaning I definitely would), so I couldn't call him either. I got the best possible scenario I suppose; I called my mom and left a voicemail. When I got back to my apartment, I checked the message my mom had left me while I was driving. She was very congratulatory and I immediately burst into tears.

I have done something that not everyone does. I have hated something about it for every four month chunk of time (also known as a semester) that I've had to do it, but I've done it. I have debt, I don't have a competitive GPA, but I did it. I got two hours of sleep last night (which is undoubtedly contributing to my current emotional imbalance) because of my own procrastination, but I finished eight pages about Jonathan Edwards's sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," and I am done. Exactly 4 years and 51 weeks ago (exactly), I started this, and now I finished it.

Despite some of my frustration with the system, I had a handful of really amazing professors that planted seeds of loving knowledge and maybe graduate school (don't mention graduate school to me for at least a year, perhaps never). I made some pretty good school friends (read: people I will only stay in touch with via Facebook since we don't have classes together any more) that also helped me finish papers, study for tests, and pass classes. But really the only thing I could think about as I slowly walked from the classroom my final final was held in, was that never in a million years would I have finished my bachelor's degree without my mom and dad. Never. So for as much as I wished I could've finished this class last semester and saved some time and money, it's all rather fitting that I'm wrapping this up as an early Father's day gift. It would only be more perfect is Mother's day magically fell again this year, on June 16th, or something. What the heck, I'm just going to say it is.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.