At 6:00 a.m. this morning, I woke up to the sound of my father urging my family members to get out of our beds and out of the sluggishness that comes with early mornings. My immediate thought was Who decided that a graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. was a good idea? And then I realized oh shoot! I’m part of that graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. that someone decided was a good idea!!! With virtually no hesitation, I hopped on out of my tired mindset, bumped my Mandisa Remix soundtrack (aptly titled “Nsdiama“), and began to get ready for this big day. At this point, the reality of the scenario that was soon to play out had not yet sunk in. Even when I had finished getting ready with my jewelry, dress, cap, and gown all bought with this occasion in mind, it still didn’t sink in. But I was very much excited.
Eventually, I arrived to the school with my family and went my separate way to join my other peers. Hugs and words of congratulations were exchanged among us which only intensified the anticipation and glee I had before I joined them.
Fast forward through the procession to Pomp and Circumstance, the speeches, the special song, and the several rows in front of me dismissed to accept their diplomas and I am standing below the stairs standing stage left with my name heard out of the mouth of the announcer. As a person who has performed virtually all my life and was familiar with that particular stage, one would think I would not be as nervous as I was.
That could not be further from the truth.
My heart beat so intensely and quickly and I had all kinds of nerves from head to toe. All I need to do was walk, accept the diploma, and shake the university president’s hand. Considering the strangeness of the intense nervousness I was experiencing, I think this is the moment that it finally hit it me: Mary, you did it, baby girl.
Almost every human emotion possible was experienced getting my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. And out of many lessons I learned, one of the most memorable is that I do not have it altogether. And that truth is a good thing.
It’s a truth that will keep me humble and will allow me to see the support systems made up of beautiful people who have spoken life into me for the gems that they are. It’s a truth that doesn’t keep my eyes solely focused on the reflection ahead of me. It makes me look upward then look at my reflection, striving to be more like Christ in my own life.
During this season of one’s life, one of the most commonly asked questions is “what’s next?” My answer is LIFE. A FULL life. A life where I brush up my resume with optimism and with the guidance of those more knowledgeable about the process for me. A life where I pursue the path to the science career of my dreams while also immersing in my love of music through singing and playing flute. A life full of days begun with my favorite tea to wake up my senses and a book to end my day. A life full of writing both on here and handwritten as I move through life as a university graduate. A life of learning and exploring what’s new to me and truly embracing what I’ve already come to know. The uncertainty of this new season of my life scares the living daylights out of me. But I remain hopeful. And with the grave nature of the many negative things that I have encountered throughout my lifetime, I am thankful that they were not potent enough to snuff out my hope and I pray it carries out throughout my entire life.
Here’s to new beginnings.
Are there any other post-graduates out there? Any advice you’d like to give me in this new phase of life?