The inevitable turbulence of emotions that happens while applying for graduation.

Well, it’s official. I have submitted my request to graduate this May, and in a mere three minutes I managed to experience the full spectrum of human feelings. Dramatic, I know. But what seemed to be a harmless online form was disguised as the manifestation of the beginning of the end. In typical Rachel fashion, this means theatrics.
It all started when I got an email from my advisor that was addressed to all seniors in our major: a simple reminder that the application for Spring 2015 graduation had opened. Seeing as this message did not include any pressing issues nor enticing coupons (Bed, Bath & Beyond, I’m looking at you), I pushed it aside to be dealt with later.
This morning as I was drinking coffee and catching up on my reality TV — a very therapeutic way to start the day, if you ask me — I flipped open my computer and remembered this task. I figured I might as well check it off the list of things that needed to be done, so I pulled up my email and followed the instructions.
Verify major? Check. Expected graduation time? Check. Degree audited? Check. These things excited me, as I recognized all the hard work that had gone into each one of my classes leading me to this point. 
Will you be attending your graduation ceremony? Check………then the flood of dread overcame me. This is a day I’ve been striving for since I came to college three and a half years ago — why does it seem so close? Where did all that time go? Did I miss the memo saying 120 credit hours will come faster than you think, so buckle up, freshmen?  

I shook my head, refocused my attention, and clicked the next question where I was asked if I wanted my full name on my diploma. I gazed into a fantasy of a future involving me in a glamorous office with my fancy diploma hanging on the wall and smiled. See! This is what I have to look forward to! No need to dwell on the past.

Then came the question of my permanent address, which I chose as my childhood home. My plan is to move back in with my mom and dad post-graduation: I love my parents and am very fortunate for their generosity, but here I was faced with another onslaught of emotions. After I graduate, I have to deal with moving out of my current house. But I love my roommates so much! What am I going to do without my best friends being ten feet away from me? But it’s okay because there’s FaceTime and Snapchat and unlimited text messaging rates. And hey, my parents are my best friends, too, so it’ll just be a change! Oh but change is so difficult…..WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY OPINIONS?!?!?!

Finally, the end was near. All I had to do was check to see that my information is correct, and I’d be finished with this exhausting experience. With one click, I was sealing my fate and agreeing to leave college and the life I’ve created here. Alas, there’s nothing I can do but accept the imminent future, so I reluctantly pressed “submit”.

As I wearily glanced up at my computer screen, a final page appeared that read, “Congratulations.” It was at that moment when I realized that I shouldn’t fret. My last semester should be spent celebrating and making memories, not mourning for the conclusion of college. There’s a time to be sad and today is not that day. After all, I have four more months to get sappy and nostalgic, so why waste a perfectly good morning?

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