I graduated in mid-December but haven't really had much time to post about it. I've been relatively busy ever since.
My feelings on this are quite mixed. I love being in school, learning as much as I can, being involved in student activities, and just enjoying the TAMU Family culture. While I'm excited to start a new career, I know I'm going to really wish I could have gotten into a Master's program.
The ceremony was great. Although it was not my first time to walk across a University stage, this time it meant more to me than many other experiences I've had in life. It was a hard road to get there and I'm very proud that I made it, but it was also a very sad time, knowing that my education there was concluded.
I pretty much blubbered the whole time. I was either misty or straight-up silent-crying. My classmates made fun of me and, although I still tried to impart some wisdom about "best time of their lives," and "experiences to be treasured," they still giggled. I guess I can understand that. The old chick tearing up through the entire ceremony, I guess, is kind of entertaining.
The part that really got me - I'd been moderately okay until then - was hugging and shaking my professor's hand at the end as I exited the stage, knowing that it was possibly the last time I would ever see him. He was definitely one of my favorites - maybe THE one - and he helped shape me as a student and motivated me to push myself to accomplish things I thought were impossible. He was patient, he was kind, we used to have great talks in the lab during my late nights of studying. I even offered to have him eat dinner with us for Christmas because his family is in NV and he rarely gets the chance to see them. He declined, of course, because although I would no longer be his student due to class schedules, I was still a student and apparently there's a Rule about that.
After graduation, I emailed each of the professors I'd ever had and thanked them for their dedication and gave reasons on how each had impacted me as a person and student. I don't know if many people do that, but I felt like they really needed to know that their hard work is appreciated and that I am one of the students who took all of their lessons seriously and really did learn. As a former teacher, notes like that meant the world to me. Based on each of their responses, they appreciated the emails as well. Which is exactly what I wanted to impart: an appreciation for them.
I'm still on the job search, which sucks, because many of my classmates are already working. I'm not being overly picky - although I am searching for jobs solely in Texas - and I KNOW I qualify (maybe overqualified for a few) and meet requirements, but not much is coming to fruition thus far. I know that, especially with government organizations, these processes take time, but my father is continuing to finance my living expenses and will have to pay for my relocation as well. The quicker I can find something - preferably here in town - the better. The job I really want is a perfect fit for me and the challenge is having faith that I'm the best candidate. I wouldn't have to move, I could afford all my own expenses, and it would be glorious. The job sounds like a wonderful challenge and fun to boot.
Being a Former Student of Texas A&M is, for sure, an extremely emotional situation for me. I'm not entirely enjoying it, but I have been given permission to audit a few classes for extra learning to put on my resume, even though I won't be receiving credit for it. The only thing that would keep me from dropping out is if I obtain a job. But I plan on attending at least one class.
Well, y'all...I made it. I graduated.