As the Keith Urban song so accurately says, “Days go by, I can feel ‘em flying’ like a hand out the window in the wind.”
Most days, this just feels like any other semester. Another class schedule, another set of professors, another list of assignments. At least once a week, someone will ask me about life after graduation and we discuss the possibility of school in the Caribbean. This seems like endless years into the future.
But every other week or so, someone will specifically mention graduation. I always have to stop and consider the question for a moment.
“When do I graduate?”
It’s not just a matter of what year or what semester anymore. It’s a matter of what month. What day. How many weeks left of life as I know it.
The night before I graduated from high school, I had a panic attack. I was sitting in the stands of a friend’s graduation, at exactly the same time as mine would be the following night, and “Pomp and Circumstance” began to play. I glanced at my watch and the reality hit me: In exactly twelve hours, I would be down on that floor preparing to cross the stage into a completely unknown phase of my life.
Until that moment, I could have told you the weeks, days and probably the hours until graduation. But I had never considered the great weight I would be taking on when that countdown was over.
In college, I watched my best friend count the days until graduation, and now I think she may have been happier if she had stayed. I have finally learned not to wish away the days. Now, I am determined to enjoy every day (or at least try) until I am made to cross that stage in December.
While I am proud to be graduating with my husband and excited to receive my degrees (yes, that’s plural), the voice in my head will still be screaming in protest.
I suppose the lesson of this long, somewhat philosophical rant is to remember to value the time that you have. Don’t keep countdowns.
Don’t look around at your little apartment and count the months until your husband will be able to afford a real house (you think). Don’t count the days until you can get a different job. Don’t wish the years away until you can have children, buy a pet or afford “nicer” things.
Just go out every day and try to learn something useful from your situation, whatever that situation may be. Appreciate the sunshine, but learn to dance in the rain. And when that song, “you’re gonna miss this,” comes on the radio, take it to heart.
“You’re gonna miss this. You’re gonna want this back. You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast. These are some good times, so take a good look around. You may not know it now, but you’re gonna miss this.” (Trace Adkins)