To Cry or Not To Cry

grad photo

This past weekend, I got to watch my younger brother graduate from college. It’s hard to believe that it was exactly one year ago that it was me in his place. I felt such a mixture of emotions during the entire ceremony, including happiness for my brother and intense nostalgia regarding my own graduation.

The weird part was that I found myself to be far more emotionally affected at his graduation than I was at my own. Maybe it was because I was a spectator and could truly see and listen to everything that was going on. Or maybe it was because at my own graduation, I was so shocked at how fast the time went by and couldn’t believe the moment was finally here.

As I watched my brother’s fellow graduates yell “I did it” with their fists flung high in the air or see them heavily sob as they hugged their parents, I thought to myself, “How come I didn’t do any of that at MY graduation? Am I weird?”

What I’ve realized, from participating in a graduation and now witnessing one as a spectator, is that we all deal with life’s big moments in different ways. For example, I didn’t cry at my own graduation and only felt a little bit of sadness, which goes against everything that I thought would happen (thanks Vitamin C and cliché 90’s movies). It wasn’t until the week after graduation, as I was home applying to jobs and looking at everyone’s graduation photos on Facebook, that the sadness finally hit me.

I’ve found that it took an entire year of “living” to really and fully appreciate the four years I spent at college. This is including both the good (the freedom of living on my own and all the fun weekend activities) and the bad moments (a nasty break-up and some stressful classes).

I’m not ashamed to admit that I may have shed a tear this past weekend. Between watching graduates embark on a journey similar to my own and receiving texts from friends about missing college, it seems like a proper reaction. Maybe I’m not so weird after all.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here and read all of my past “Life After College” articles here.

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