The Graduation Experience

15 May

When you’re involved on campus, graduation begins long before the larger Commencement ceremonies. There are celebrations, lunches, socials, officer transitions — so many people to thank and say goodbye to.

My more “official” events started last Thursday, with ceremonies for my Leadership Minor and the Arizona Blue Chip Program. Blue Chip has been such a huge part of my life that this was one of the more emotional ceremonies for me — good thing I got it done first, I suppose!

Of course for the larger ceremonies there’s a very important task to be done: cap decorating! As a big Doctor Who fan, I decided to go with the tenth Doctor’s favorite catch phrase, “Allons-y!” It means “Let’s go!” in French, and the Doctor usually says it just before jumping into a new adventure.

I thought it was appropriate for graduation, and so did the official Doctor Who blog. My cap also sported a Hogwarts pin that my Harry Potter Alliance members gave to me at our last meeting, so that I could represent during graduation. (If you’re going to go nerdy, go 100% nerdy, I always say.)

Friday night was, of course, the University of Arizona Commencement. When we arrived, we were grouped by our college and led to the stadium by a sign with our college name. This might not seem like the most significant detail, but for me it was the most emotional moment of the evening. As an Orientation and Welcome Leader, I’ve spent every summer during college helping new students transition into the U of A. For those of you who may be a little fuzzy on the details of your Orientation, in the morning students are led by the Orientation Leaders to their different college meetings for the first time. Being walked to the stadium in the same way seemed like the perfect “bookend” to my undergraduate experience.

This year’s commencement was special: it was the first time it had been held in the stadium for over 40 years, and it came with some added elements that made The Huffington Post say it “put other graduation ceremonies to shame.”

Being in that crowd was something magical. It truly felt like celebrating our accomplishments as a class and as a Wildcat community, and it was a wonderful way to end the year…

Did I say end? Actually, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Post-Commencement ceremony was the next morning! (That’s me with the Weasley hair.)

Okay, now it’s the end. Well, just the beginning of a new adventure. Allons-y!

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