Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Welcome Surprises

Well, we did it! Graduation is finally behind me and it still doesn't feel totally real. My parents were in town to support me, and I was actually excited to walk and attend my graduation. Surprisingly, walking to receive my masters, in a way, felt like a bigger accomplishment than my undergraduate degree. I'm sure part of this was due to the fact that I was one of five students receiving my degree that day. 
The countdown to graduation had been never ending (can we say, Am I There Yet?). It was one thing after another, this due, that event, this deadline, blah, blah, blah. In the days leading up to graduation, I found that I was forgetting that while I would be staying in Philadelphia post-graduation, this would be the end of the road for some of my friends. While I was so excited for graduation, I wasn't ready to see them go. I was so focused on graduation that I forgot that this anticipated, oh-so-exciting event was also a marker for some of my friends'  dwindling days in Philadelphia before moving, starting jobs, beginning new chapters, and leaving me. 

This sad-yet-happy feeling really began to weigh heavily on me in the past few weeks and got me thinking about my expectations upon arriving in Philadelphia almost two years ago. I had left a great group of friends, both at college and at home, and expected that graduate school would be filled with acquaintances; school friends, part-time friends, as terrible as it sounds to say, non-substantial friends. I don't know if it was the expectation that more students would be working full time, or that graduate school would be more work than undergraduate, and in turn, less fun than undergraduate, but I was convinced that graduate school would be a "nice to meet ya, see ya later" type of environment. 

Two years later, I have to say this couldn't be further from the truth. Some of you will stay, and some of you will go, but many of you have become lifelong friends and will always be just a phone call away. We've navigated one another's stresses (personal and professional), lamented and worried about the same deadlines, projects, internships, and directions our lives were heading (personally and professionally, again). Our time together has been highlighted by an immeasurable amount of laughs, weekend trips, lazy days, wild nights, and calorie filled frozen yogurt, late night pizza, and taco night binges. These two years together have surpassed my wildest expectations, and I've created a whole new group of friends that I cannot imagine moving forward without. 

Who knows where the shuffle of our lives will take us in the next few months, let alone the next few years. But, my welcomes surprises, I know you'll all still be there. 

Until next time.. 

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