Graduation day, the culmination of hundreds, if not thousands of hours of work. Congratulate yourself! Really! Somewhere around 4% of the population has a doctorate level degree, and you are now one of them. If you stop and think about it like that, it’s actually pretty amazing. Gratitude, joy, fear, apprehension, and anticipation; all begin to describe how I was feeling that day, but there were so many more emotions that I couldn’t begin to describe. I remember it like it was yesterday: I didn’t win any special awards, I didn’t have the best GPA, I didn’t give any fancy speeches, but I worked hard to get there and dammit I MADE IT! I started something and had the guts to finish it!
In a way it felt like the end. The end of something magical. An incredible journey of self discovery, that will constantly push you outside of your comfort zone. And if you chose to embrace that, to work harder than you ever had before, and to let go and let the experience guide you; you will leave that school being one amazing person, with an incredible set of skills. It feels like so much is ending: the end of friendships, the end of community, the end of studying (which feels great at the time!), but really, it is just the beginning. My instructors always said, “the real work comes after graduation”, and I didn’t understand that at the time. How could anything be more difficult than school and board exams? Little did I know what lay ahead of me in “real practice” and “real life”. Let’s just say…my professors were right!