All I want is education: On convocation

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Although I finished my undergraduate degree in June, I *officially* convocated on Thursday. I thought it would be boring and meaningless since I’m 3 months into my Master’s degree, but it was really incredible (and I got to wear my new dress- yasss queen).

My dad couldn’t make it, unfortunately, and I missed him like crazy, but my mom, brother, grandma, boyfriend, and aunt and uncle came- with flowers! I’ve never received so many flowers before, oh my gosh! I am one lucky lady!

With childhood heroines like Nancy Drew and Hermione Granger, the cornerstones of my life have always been curiosity and learning. This is why I am still in school, and will be until I ABSOLUTELY have to leave, even though my weekly mental breakdown schedule is full.

When I finished my undergrad degree, I found myself in the same mindset as I was the summer between junior high and high school: angsty, melancholic, and unsure. Going from undergrad to grad school really does feel like moving from junior high to high school! I am suddenly the pimply teenager going from being the *big kid* to being the *little kid* again. Except this time, more is at stake, like funding, rent money, my job, and my teaching position. This time, high school is two years long, and in those two years I have to write two books. This time, my mom can’t write me a sick note when I need a mental health day, and physical exercise isn’t a curriculum requirement. Unlike high school, my fellow students aren’t all the same age and using the same cheap drugstore foundation to cover up the pockmarks of adolescence. We are all over the age spectrum, and everyone has impressive accomplishments and experiences. I expected to find myself in a hyper competitive environment with a Darwinistic feel. While everyone is brilliant and motivated, it isn’t an antagonistic environment AT ALL.

I expected high school to be scarier than middle school in the same way that I expected grad school to be scarier than undergrad. I might be struggling to keep my head above water most days, but overall, I feel better about grad school than I did undergrad, and after convocation, I can finally and *officially* say goodbye to that uncertainty, fear, and yes, ANGST.

See you in a year and a half, cap and gown.

Here’s a picture of me and my dad at my high school graduation, because I know he would have given anything to be there on Thursday (and today is his birthday! Happy birthday, daddy!)

My dad is one of the reasons I never give up, or give in. He’s always made me stay curious, keep learning, and to not back down or sell myself short. He was never able to graduate high school, as he had to support himself starting in junior high, but he is one of the smartest people I know, and truly a lifelong learner. I go to school for me, but when I feel like giving up, I keep going for my dad, because he never got the chance, and he’s the one that truly belongs in a university setting. One day, I hope to be fellow history students!

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