Bucket List #15 and #16

Mostly because I feel that the two go hand and hand. You know, attending college, graduating college…

In all fairness, just because someone attends college doesn’t mean that they graduate. Sometimes other plans get in the way, and I can respect that. At least, to a certain degree. There are definite life events that can prevent a person from graduating, such as illness, death, or a change of heart. But to not finish because of being wishy washy about a major, or about actually going to class…eh, not so sympathetic anymore.

But in relation to me.

I always felt like it was expected that I go to college. It was only after getting in that I realized what a big deal it was to my family.

I am the first person in my immediate family to have ever gone to college. Hell, on my mother’s side (which is the only side I really know, so it’s the one that really counts for something) I’m the only one who graduated from high school, at least in the States. I’m not really sure if my grandfather graduated from high school in France, but as there was that whole small deal of World War II going at some point during that time frame, I’ll let it slide.

I just remember my high school graduation, and the giant fuss my mother and my grandmother made. They planned out this whole backyard party for me and my extended family, buying a sheet cake that had to be almost four feet long. I remember being embarassed, feeling like they were making a big deal out of something that was so commonplace and expected. But it wasn’t, not to them. For my grandmother who had come over to America in her teens to do domestic work so as to send money back to Colombia, for my mother who didn’t finish high school while a teenager, this was a big deal.

So from that perspective, it’s impressive that I ever saw college as the immediate next step. It’s even more impressive that I received scholarships out the wazoo to finish college with. And even more impressive that I graduated Magna Cum Laude, becoming a giant nerd in my eyes and the pride and joy of my family. But no pressure.

College was a ride, and in many ways I can’t believe it’s over. It would take way too many individual blog posts for me to detail the ways that I’ve grown through my experiences, through the new friends and old friends, the classes, the personal trials, the amazing relationship that I got to leave college with. Maybe I’ll go back and relive some of those moments later, particularly as they may or may not relate to other items on the bucket list. But let’s put it this way: Miami was an excellent choice.

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My lucky piece of arm candy. Via Facebook.

And now that I’ve graduated and had to start looking into the wonders of the real world, I can start appreciating just how much of a hiatus or transition space college was from “real” life. Especially the college I went to. Many of my peers at Miami did not seem conscious of either the monetary or social struggles they would soon face or that some of their peers currently faced. In the OxBox, poverty didn’t exist beyond not having enough money on your meal plan, so you might have to ask for some more money from your parents. A charmed existence, in many ways, but still filled with people that could come down to earth. At least, within my friends on the periphery.

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Oh, forgot to mention that I don’t actually have my diploma yet. Technically, my graduation is still “pending”.

Still, I wouldn’t have chosen a different school. Well, maybe. But I’m still pretty happy with how college panned out, in general.

No point in not being at this point, right? Right?

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Friends after Miami’s Holi Festival, 2013. Via Facebook.

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