My friends, we made it. I am officially a college grad. (See part 1 of grad weekend here.)
So here we are. Graduation Day. June 12, 2016. My whole life 2016 was a big year. I always knew it would be the year I graduated college, and I never really considered that there would be any years after 2016 (2017, what is that??). And now it was here. Somehow I never thought we’d get here. I never thought college would end. It seemed like the thing you worked your whole life for. And now I was graduating?? When did I grow up? I don’t feel mature enough to be a college grad!
Breakfast: the typical yogurt+sunbutter+blueberries+granola. Gotta fuel up for the big transition into the real world!
(I was out of bowls. Well, or so I thought until I went to move out…oops.)
My handiwork. Stanford has a tradition called Wacky Walk. Every year, the undergraduates go to the commencement wearing silly costumes. We parade around the stadium as we enter. (And wear normal caps and gowns for the department ceremony.) After literally 9 months of trying to figure out what we wanted to be, we decided on emojis, and I’m so happy with how they turned out! We each chose our favorite emoji, one which we felt represented us the best.
My sister was graduating with her Master’s so we joined us for the ceremony!
I also think there’s one important thing I need to talk about in this post. The issue that was very present at our commencement, and has launched Stanford into national news for the past few weeks. I wasn’t sure if I was going to talk about it on this blog, but I feel compelled to speak given it’s something that happened right here at home. Brock Turner. I don’t think anyone disagrees that the sentencing was ludicrous, but I want to give voice to the protest that happened at Wacky Walk, because I think it was often glossed over or misinterpreted. There were swarms of reporters there (I actually got spoken too and quoted in an article), but I think they’re missing part of the message. It wasn’t just about the sentence, about throwing out the judge. It was also about getting Stanford to enact change. The policy for sexual assault is not set up to prevent future sexual assault. Many assaulters are repeat offenders. Stanford has a list of names of those it has found guilty of sexual assault, and those names should be released so that students can protect themselves and be wary. (If you are interested, sign the petition here.) This is such a small step that would radically change the culture. Stanford should be a leader here and take action.
Back to our regularly scheduled post. The commencement address. It was…unexpected. The main speaker was Ken Burns, the documentary maker. I think most people assumed sort of a bland speech. That it was not…It was definitely one to remember, and my fellow students and I couldn’t quite believe he was saying what he did (not that anyone seemed to disagree). It was a very strange forum for that message though. Also, in all the videos of the speech on youtube, my emoji and I are featured!
Following commencement, I biked off to my department ceremony, where a cheese and veggies spread awaited me. My mom actually got suer lost coming to my department ceremony, and I had to talk her through directions while she frantically walked in circles. She made it just in time for some food, before we had to be seated.
Before I knew it, I was walking the stage to accept the little piece of paper that represents so much.
During the ceremony, I was reminded what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it. I think my thinking about the future as of late has been selfish; I have to remember that I work hard and follow my calling, but for the greater good. I’m part of something bigger than myself. It’s easy to forget that while grinding through problem sets.
After the ceremony, froyo was entirely necessary. Plus, my favorite froyo place ever (Wildberry) is right off campus!
I spent the afternoon relaxing in my dorm room with Netflix and banana bread.
Before cleaning myself up and heading home for dinner with my family.
To start, we shared grilled artichoke with horseradish aioli.
For my main meal, I had a salad with kale, beets, and goat cheese.
After dinner, my mom made my sister and I re-don our caps and gowns for photos together. Outside. On a random street corner.
And thus, I am graduated. So-what’s next? I am applying to Veterinary school in the fall, and am still working out my plans for next year. In the meantime, I will be leaving for Tennessee soon for 5 weeks. I will be in Knoxville, and could not be more excited for this incredible opportunity.