A diploma means something. It shows that you’ve persevered for years to finally make it through the system and, for most people, in the case of undergrad, it signifies that the real world will hit them like a ton of bricks any second now. So why does it feel so anti-climactic?
I was running around campus trying to pick up all of my recs and transcripts that I needed for my grad school application. While there, my friend told me that she needed to pick up her diploma, no big deal. So we eventually track down the small hole-in-the-wall where diplomas and records are held. She tells the guy at the desk all of her information and he runs to grab the diploma.
While we’re waiting, I look over at the pick-up calendar. Dec. 19, 2009 graduation date? Diplomas are ready for pick up. So after the nice guy is done helping my friend, I ask him about my diploma and he grabs it as well. He gets me a diploma holder and everything and we’re on our merry way.
That was about 2 or 3 days ago. The first day, I accidentally left it on my friend’s chair and forgot about it. Since then, I’ve learned the errors of my ways. If you’re going to forget about something, forget it someplace that’s actually yours. So I decided to toss it into my super awesome Star wars backpack… where it has stayed for at least the past 36 hours.
I mean, if the Star Wars backpack isn’t proof enough that I’m not ready for the real world, what is? I mean, where’s the feeling of accomplishment? I’m finally done and I’ve got the diploma to prove it. I know I struggled with the same feelings when I first graduated. But now I have the proof, something I can actually hold in my hands and still nothing.
Man, I have to say, it’s things like this that make me glad that I opted not to walk. There’s not a whole lot of meaning in these traditions and rituals if they don’t affect you, whether it be mentally or emotionally. Maybe I’ll just give it to my dad for father’s day. He’s always been more of a sentimentalist than I am.