I’ve have been fortunate to have three graduations in my life: high school, college and graduate school. I shudder a bit to think how long ago that first one took place. But that started me thinking… what were my expectations at each graduation milestone in my life? How had I grown/changed during the 16 years that span my higher educational career?
I was a pretty shy person (still am) but I knew that I wanted to do something BIG with my life. I wanted to go to a college where I did not know a soul, and start fresh. I was unsure what I wanted to major in so I started out as a biology major figuring on the great number of positions that would be available in the future in that field (oh – so not for me, but that is another story). I was certain that I wanted to keep pursuing my study of French. On graduation day, I definitely left high school with the expectation that I had no expectations – I would go on to college and figure out this whole “life” thing while there.
Well, I already said the biology field wasn’t my “thing”. I graduated from college a completely different person than when I entered. Truth be told, I think I outgrew my little school early junior year. But, I did find my way – majoring in International Business with a French concentration (see, I knew I loved French!), a degree that enabled me to study in France and intern with a multi-national corporation. Since I had always worked in retail, I assumed I would work for a big fashion or cosmetic company that would allow me to travel the world. I really wanted to live abroad though I think I would have desperately missed my family if that had happened. I never thought about marrying or starting a family. I think I even mentioned that I would rather meet the love of my life at 70 in a nursing home then feeling like I had settled for something less. At this graduation I definitely had expectations of successful future and I believe that is because I had found confidence in myself during those years.
What a difference a few years can make. By this time I was established in my career and had managed to work full time while taking 2 or 3 courses per semester at night. I met, and graduated with, my wonderful husband (though I did not know it at the time) at school and things just seemed to be in place for continued happiness. My good friend (with whom I also graduated) even joked about continuing our education further for doctorate degrees. With each graduation, it seemed that I would set the bar higher for myself. Between work and my boyfriend, things just seemed perfect. At this graduation, it didn’t seem like I was looking to start fresh, or jet set around the world. This graduation had me feeling more like I could start to put down some roots – and little did I know a few months from then I would be engaged and less than a year from that point, married.
What were your expectations surrounding your graduation?
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*Disclosure: I was provided a Tiny Prints credit in exchange for this post sponsored by Global Influence and Tiny Prints.