Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A Member of Society

So all I've been thinking since I've officially graduated university is how I've been feeling, and how I'm going to bottle it up to remember these emotions forever. Let's see... four years in the making, endless hours at the library, one failed course (calculus... are you kidding me?), tons of 26-ers and hangovers have come and gone, and now I finally feel like I'm a member of society. Perhaps I should have taken a few more philosophy courses over the years to determine what kind of society I feel that I am living in, but oh well. Done with that.

I didn't think that I would be so overwhelmed with this graduation, especially the ceremony. Sure my dad was coming from across the country to see it, along with my mom (from across the province), and it would be nice to have the original family (minus my sista) together again. However, not once did I think that I would feel the way I felt. It kicked in a little the night before, as I was having a panic attack over what I was going to wear to the cap & gown ceremony. I tried on clothes and outfits for about an hour and finally decided to go with a black dress from Asos and a white tuxedo blazer from Forever 21 (below).

notice my stressed-out smile? this is once i figured out what i'd be wearing. all the clothes in the background... empty wine bottle on the table... yeah, this is my bedroom.

The next morning, up early to get ready to go to the school, I had my morning coffee and cigarette, and headed over to the university. I got my gown, said goodbye to my parents and my boyfriend, and met up with my friends whom I graduated with. We were brought out into the theatre where the convocation was taking place, and I sat down, cool as a cucumber.

Speeches were made, the names were called, blah blah blah.

i had a few choice words for this man after telling me i had to do school work when all i wanted to do was sleep. but he was with me for most of my journey through academics, and i'll love him forever for the support he's shown.

To be honest, it didn't really hit me until the moment had passed: until I was off the stage. They handed me my diploma, gave me a keychain, an alumni pin, and I was sent back to my seat. Tears in my eyes and a lame smile on my face: I was a graduate from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Nothing would compare to this. This degree that I worked for, not even my first choice as a career (I'm going to Blanche Macdonald to complete their Pro-Hair program), and I knew that nothing would compare to this feeling.

my mom, me, my dad. i am tooo fortunate to have these two as parents. the cutest, funniest, most bad-ass crew around.

After being called spoiled, fat, pretentious, a bitch, and many other names I don't care to mention, I was there to receive something that was all mine and something that no one can ever take away from me. This is MINE. MY education that I worked so hard for, and no one can steal that from me. You wanna try? Come at me. Don't mess.

pure class. 

One thing that resonated with me afterwards was when the chancellor gave a speech about opportunities. We should never let plans get in the way of opportunities that arise. If you are too preoccupied with the plans that you have made and are set on achieving certain goals by a certain time, you won't be open enough to experience all this world has to offer. At times I felt that abandoning my degree to go to hair-dressing school would be a mistake and that perhaps I should work in my field for a few years after graduating. This was the final nail in the so-called "coffin" that made me realize that this is what I want to do, I'm happy to do it, and I'll be open for anything along the way. 

One way I figured that I could remember all of my emotions would be to write (to be literal, type) them so that I could read it all at a later date. Here's a little shout-out to my family, who helped me achieve what I wanted to achieve:

Mom: Mudder, you're the best. Thank you so much for being there for me and being so supportive when I was confused on what I wanted to do. You were there to be the stern voice of reason when I wanted to give up, and would pat me on the back when I accomplished a good grade. I appreciate everything you have ever done for me and all that you have sacrificed to get me where I am today, and this is something that I will never forget and will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life.

Dad: It has been a long journey but I am so privileged and blessed to have the type of relationship I have with you today. Ups and downs but look at us now. You've made me a tough cookie throughout the years and have also taught me compassion. Your encouragement from a distance never went astray and the advice you've gave me to make decisions have meant so much. You're an inspiration and I'm so glad to have you just the way you are.

Leyna: My beautiful sister who is living proof that there is such thing as a brains & beauty combination. I thank you for your advice on my profs, your old notes, and for being there when I wanted to complain about anything. You're such a fun person and I'm blessed to have someone as special as you as my sister. Nobody rocks it like us.

Adrian: This seems a little awkward to be writing this while you're sitting next to me on the couch, but I figured I'd address you on this post as well ; ). Thank you for dealing with my mood swings. I didn't lie when I told you I would be high-maintenance, but you've handled all situations with grace (except for death by creeper in minecraft, that shit cray). Enough of this mushiness, I just wanted to acknowledge you for the man you are and the woobee you are to me.

Step-Dave: One to always tell me to go to the library, even on a Friday night. You're the best step-dad ever and I appreciate all of our conversations about school, plans for the future, etc. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person in school and in general, and to always believe that I can achieve anything with hard work. 

This doesn't sum up everyone who has had my back from the start, and some of my friends I consider family members (Jenn, who is featured here, is quite literally my sister, we love and fight like the best sisters do). But if I were to do a thank-you post for everyone who has ever helped me out, I would be here for DAYS. 

Thanks for reading everyone, I appreciate the views to my open-diary. If you recently graduated or are about to, document it. Write your feelings down. Nothing feels this good. You've made an accomplishment that deserves one hell of an applause. So, I applaud you. And give myself a pat on the back. Not bad, eh?

hey guys! lookat me!


  1. Awwwww , I love this post :) it made me smile the whole way through. Congratulations Julia!!! Even though I am not pleased about your future travels, you are going to do amazing in B.C and I cant wait to hear all about it on skype/phone/text/facebook/twitter. (if you havent gotten the hint by now I plan on keeping close contact with you so be prepared) Love you lots and lots and lots .

    1. thanks tay, you are the bomb dot com. i'm going to miss you TONS. expect a sooky good-bye in the near future... but for now, this weekend ... yes ?