Today was graduation day and although I still need to finalise my thesis, it is a day that makes you think and feel. It is a day that captures an ending and a fresh start like no other. It is the ending to student life and one of the most formative periods in my life. But I am not alone in this. My experiences capture the ones of so many others like me and the smiles and the hugs that were shared during this day said: “We were in this together”.
Some of us started our time at university with hopes and expectations and others like myself, wanted to see where this whole experience would lead towards. We all buckled up for the ride and saw the impossible come to life infront of our eyes. We became adults that made new cities and countries our home. Unknown streets became our territory and the owner of the little shop down the road our complicit in buying late night snacks. We made new friends and escaped the loneliness of our student housing, to find a feeling of belonging on the dance floor. Again, we were in this together.
Another University hoodie and another time hearing the familiar sound of the zipper to the suitcase trying to squeeze all belongings together. Leaving the old home to find a new home in the middle of people from all over the world. Hello Erasmus you old friend. Finding yourself with a sticker to your chest that says from which country you are. Because that is what you were then, a country and a name. If you played the game right, then this was the ticket to one the best times of your student life.
Graduating makes you sentimental, anxious and excited. The possibilities seem endless and answering one more time to “so what are you going to do now with your life?” makes you want to run screaming out of the room and hold close to the comforts of student life. In this bubble one always knew what would happen next. Now the pages have turned and here we are, still in this together but with different paths awaiting. Where we will go from here and who will we become is up to us now. There is no textbook or university ECTS’s that tell you how to go about it.
Today, we were joined by the people that we “were in this together”. It is a day for celebration, stories and all those inside jokes that will keep us together for years to come. Our group chats will change subjects. We will graduate from this university with the objective to make it in life. We want to have things, own things and at the same time be happy. Today we look back with love and into the future with hope, fear and excitement.
But let me reassure you. You will make new streets and apartments your home. You will fail and you will excel just like you did up to this date.