True Life: I’m a College Graduate

Hello from the graduated side of a Puget Sound education. I wish I could tell you that graduation – and the 5 weeks since – have been along the lines of the 2009 hit (No? I was the only one that watched it? Okay…) Post Grad. You know the deal. Idyllic commencement ceremony on a palm tree-lined campus with the sun shining followed by a swanky family dinner. Cue the post-graduation professional interview that is inevitably ruined by traffic, spilled coffee, or even worse, the perfectionist classmate who is interviewing for the same position and woos the boss, getting the job and leaving you with a light brown shirt and a parking ticket. Throw in a few montages of job searches, personal growth, the requisite love interest, and the eventual good-conquers-evil job offer after the perfect archnemesis is fired and the protagonist gets a job… and the guy. Roll credits.

Unfortunately, though, my story is not very similar. But it’s still been excellent! To start things off, it was raining for graduation. True to Pacific Northwest form, the clouds rolled in around 7pm the night before graduation (as I was enjoying my not-so-swanky-but-SO-delicious Indian food family dinner… the night of graduation, I had Taco Del Mar in the car with my mom) and it didn’t stop until a couple of hours after graduation. We had been warned that the black graduation gowns would bleed onto light-colored clothing, so I wore my white floral dress for the morning’s indoor (and gown-free) Interfaith Baccalaureate ceremony only. I had the honor of speaking at the ceremony, getting a rare opportunity to reflect on the role that my own faith played in my college education. Here I am after the ceremony with Dave Wright, our University Chaplain (who is a BIG part of the Interfaith awareness on campus), who was definitely a mentor and source of optimism while in Tacoma:

After Baccalaureate, I changed into my gown-appropriate black dress, donned my rain jacket, then my gown, and finally the clear poncho that Puget Sound provided us. I was off to graduate, but first, some pictures…

My grandparents came up from Oregon City (with my parents) for the ceremony. I am the oldest of 14 grandchildren, so they have many more college (and high school) graduations to attend!

All of the Chemistry seniors ready to graduate! I helped make our cords this year... navy blue and gold (ACS colors) with white "hydrogen atoms" braided in!

It took a couple of blankets, many layers, and an umbrella to get through the wet ceremony... But we (those are my parents) did it!

Commencement itself was the perfect ending to my three years at Puget Sound. Our classmate, Taylor, spoke to represent the Class of 2011 and his speech was just the right balance of funny, intelligent, and sentimental. Our honorary degree recipient and “guest speaker” was Cecilia Munoz (White House Director of Governmental Affairs) who urged us all to study, serve, and find silence when we can. She also brought along a letter from President Obama that Ron Thom read during Commencement. How cool is that?! I walked across the stage. We all sang the Alma Mater. And, just like that, with relatively few tears, I was a college graduate (with a diploma that would arrive “in 6-8 weeks”… and that actually arrived last Friday). ┬áMy first task as a graduate was not to eat swanky food or don a suit, but to pack up my room. With my mom’s help, we did it in 2 hours, and hit the road (with a stop for Taco Del Mar along the way).

What have I been up to in those 5 weeks since May 15th? For one, I have been working my summer job at a local garden center. Every day, I get to be outside surrounded by gorgeous flowers and wonderfully nice people. I am also constantly learning more about gardening and many other random conversations that I have with other employees and customers. It’s a pretty near-perfect summer job, if you ask me! More importantly, though, I am still looking for and applying to Admissions jobs. I have a phone interview next week for a position that has a heavy emphasis on social media use, which is really exciting! I have loved keeping this blog and using other social media outlets (especially the Facebook pages that I made for Relay For Life and the Gamma Phi Beta alumnae) to get the word out about Puget Sound and other organizations I was involved with. It would be amazing to delve further into that world while helping the Class of 2016 (and beyond) find their perfect campus… and getting paid to do it! Please think all the good interview thoughts that you have!

On that relatively mundane (but really pretty fantastic) note, I will sign off for good from the Puget Sound blogosphere. When asked to describe Puget Sound, I would say passionate and friendly. We were all passionate about different things – I found my niche in Biochemistry, Admissions, Relay For Life, Band, Gamma Phi, and Scotland – but when that collective love of what we are doing combines, the power for change and improvement was/is unbelievable. The person that I have grown into as a result of my Puget Sound education is one far more confident and optimistic about this world than I was before. I have traveled to three schools in two countries. I have been involved in countless clubs and taken 31 different classes. I don’t particularly know where I will be in a month or, God forbid, in five years. But I do know that, whenever I get off highway 16 – if they ever finish that overpass – and drive past Target, I know that part of my heart and my mind will be coming (this one goes out to Ron Thom and anyone that has ever been to Convocation each August) home.

Hack, hack… Chop, chop!

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