It’s graduation week. I’m hoping that all of the pomp and circumstance will help me to feel like these past two years are an accomplishment, something to be celebrated. So far, it doesn’t really feel like that. Regardless, the celebrations begin tomorrow evening.
My “office moms” have been showering me with gifts, cards, hugs and encouragement these last couple days. They are wonderful. I am thankful for their friendship, encouragement, and willingness to listen and laugh with me. They are helping me to realize this is a time for celebration, this is an accomplishment. Perhaps the fatigue associated with the process is what has caused me to see graduation day as more of an anticlimactic formality.
One of them reminded me of the following with her gift, which is a quotation I have always loved…
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
To me, this degree is not a bargaining chip for a better office, a raise, or an esteemed title. Instead, it is a labor of love: a love of learning, a love for college students. My celebration revolves not around my own accomplishments, but those of my classmates and the journey we have traveled together. I celebrate the friendships, the knowledge, the ways we were stretched and challenged. I hope that this experience will help me to do the things on this list. For in these things, I find joy, purpose, significance and celebration.