So it’s finals again and that same anxiety grumbling in the pit of my stomach has arrived. The piles of books I’ve forgotten to read for an entire semester still linger in a box below my bed. The papers I avoided writing are saved barely finished in my laptop. But it suddenly dawns on me, I don’t need to spend a week grieving over the painful final in my future, I GRADUATED!
Relief rushes through my bones and a pinch of humor flashes across my face. All around me, my fellow Rebels are pulling all nighters in the Library, creating mountains of notes to sift through. Here I am searching for something to keep my mind busy.
It’s a strange experience to see the bogged down college student shuffle across the courtyard, mounds of books in their slumping backpacks and a Venti Starbucks in hand. In these next few weeks, I will not be paralyzed by the fear of acing a final. Instead, I will be planning events and trolling social media.
That’s right, I accomplished the near impossible for a bright eyed college graduate; I got a job (and a great one to be exact.)
The excitement of the looming Spring 2015 graduation still ignites my senses. I explore through the dozens of graduation photos from my excited and stressed out soon to be fellow alumni. “I did it!” “Finally finished!” they scream through their images. And I sit back and remember a few months ago in December I was in their same shoes.
Traveling around my favorite places on campus to create the perfect photo opportunity and present myself as a successful Rebel. Climbing on top of the coveted Hey Reb statue at the Alumni Center; sinking in four inch heels in the soggy grass to catch the last of the sunlight; running from bee’s just to get a floral shot in Elaine Wynn’s garden.
Finally, it’s the big day. I dressed in scarlet and grey, put on my blinged out cap and got ready to turn my tassel.
Like an atomic bomb, the Thomas and Mack erupted with joy as the Class of 2014 made their final showcase in front of the people who molded us into adults. We pushed through the crowds searching for our entourage who donned us with leis, hugs, kisses and deafening congratulations.
When waking that next morning, the feeling of disbelief that I’ve finally made it is so haunting it lingers today. Now five months later, I still find myself rising at ungodly hours to fight morning traffic. But this time, I’m not fighting with commuters to grab a spot in the outskirts of UNLV. I’m heading to work.
Days go by where UNLV memories seem centuries past and day-to-day adult hustle and bustle clouds my thoughts. But it’s times like these, when I receive that mass text wishing me good luck on finals that I can sit back and breath “Thank God that’s over.”