It’s that time of year again. Thousands of college kids finishing up classes and walking across that stage. I suppose working at a university makes me a bit more nostalgic to this event. It always takes me back to those overwhelming feelings of excitement, sadness, urgency, and a bit of fear. Yea, being the graduate is a strange thing. You’ve waited for it to happen for four years, give or take a few, and when it does it’s over so quickly that you wish you would have stopped and paid a bit more attention.
In those often boring, often cliched commencement speeches, no one really tells you that this is it. That you’ll never get these years back, and you’ll never be able to recreate them (and trust me, you’ll try). You’ll never see all of these people again, or feel this exact way. I suppose they don’t say those things because now as I type them it sounds a bit over dramatic and tragic. Instead, they’ll talk about doing great things, remembering why you came to college, and about giving back. And that’s fine and all, but no one really prepares you for the nostalgia.
What they really should be saying is ‘take in this moment’. Take a silent minute to sit in that seat among friends, peers, teachers, and let it all sink in. Go over all of your college memories. Laugh. Smile. Shed a tear. You’ll never be back here in this moment. Take it in.
Hallmark cheese aside, I wish I would have had that speech rather than one with a guy talking about walking his dog…because that’s relevant.