Well, I really am done. It’s time to say goodbye to this blog, too. When I started this blog, and I made a joke on the ‘about‘ page that it might be premature to call the blog One Final Year – after all, I still could flunk courses and have to do another year, I wasn’t really joking. I never thought I had this whole degree thing in the bag, not until I walked out of my last final exam and then it finally hit me that yeah, actually, I probably just did a degree.
Graduation ceremony, by the way, was wonderful. I encourage you to go to yours. It’s a powerful experience, and it’s a chance for you to bring a few friends and/or family members with you so they can share in that moment with you. That’s even more powerful, I think. It’s a little book-end on your university experience, and you earned it. VIU did a great job, too, with the ceremony. It was fun, warm, light-hearted, a time for joyous celebration. It was frankly delightful.
I graduated with distinction. I’m not telling you that to be boasty. I am telling you that because as I sat there, during the tail-end of the ceremony, looking at my degree, I realized that pretty much never in my life will it matter to anyone if I graduated with distinction or not. With the exception of you readers, no one will even ever know. But what I realized then is that I will know. I will always know. And it’s not so much that I feel excessively proud of the with distinction but what I would feel is disappointment if I didn’t have it, because I would know, then, for me, that I could have worked harder. And what a waste it all would have been if I had just sort of floated through university, not really challenging myself, not really putting in the extra effort to do as well as I could. So I am telling you in case you’re in a position where you could put in a little more effort, just so you know how it feels when you actually get your degree. You are the only person who will care if it says with distinction or if there is nothing written after your degree announcement. But if you’re like me you will discover that you actually do care. Just don’t find out you care too late.
More than just about any experience in my life, with the exception of hanging out with my family, I have loved being at VIU. I loved learning here. I loved the people I met. I loved the content that I learned. I loved taking classes that freaked the hell out of me; I loved worrying I was going to flunk out and then not flunking out! I loved my professors. I loved the promise you feel when you’re in university; when in university, you look forward to a world that seems unimaginable in its vastness. I could do this, or this, or even this! You don’t know where you are going to end up in geography or in career. It is a magic time, and I loved every second of it.
Thank you, fellow students and thank you, professors. You all were so wonderfully patient and tolerant of me. Thank you, readers. I would get stopped by people I didn’t know in the library, or as I was wandering across campus. I read your blog, someone would say. That was always incredibly nice. But mostly, mostly, thank you, VIU. Thank you for existing. Thank you for the awesome people, the endless stairs, the promise, the hope, and the experience. I really did love absolutely every second of it. It’s been a marvelous three and a half years.