It’s graduation season again. A time where the joy of your achievement, excitement about the future and overwhelming fear of the unknown masks the fact that you have to dawn graduation caps and heavy capes on the hottest days of the year whilst sitting through hours of speeches and certificate presentations.
I cannot believe it has been 6 years since I graduated high school, 3 years since I graduated from my Bachelor of Science and 2 since I graduated from my Honours degree. I made life long friends with incredible people, learned some incredible things, convinced myself that I was going to drop out almost every exam period and significantly grew as a person as I pushed myself and began a journey to discover my passions. I look back on my schooling with a sense of achievement and a bit of wonder about how something so massive in my life for such a long time can feel like a blink. Since then I have travelled in 8 countries, began and ended (admittedly brief) careers, packed my sister off to the middle of Queensland, started a blog, had my heart broken, felt lost, had fleeting moments of clarity, was asked to be a bridesmaid twice, met an incredible number of incredible people, cooked and eaten a lot of amazing food, given up, started again and learnt more about the world, myself and those around me than I ever could have dreamed of.
Last week, I was so honoured to be asked to go to my mum’s best friend’s daughter’s high school graduation. That girl is amazing. School captain, Dux, musician, athlete, humanitarian and all around beautiful person. Her sister, who is school captain for next year, is equally as remarkable. My sister and I definitely feel like proud big sisters to these two.
At the end of her inspirational school captain speech, she and the other school captain played the following video. I think it just about sums up graduating. (On a side note: if you haven’t ever seen kid president before, you need to change that stat. This kid is amazing.)
I remember on my graduation day overhearing a person in front of me graduating with First Class Honours in Biomedical Science saying, “You know what, I’m don’t know what to do with this degree. I really don’t want to do lab work or biomed again… I think I’m going to be a travel agent. Or just anything other than this…” It was a truth to what many of us were probably feeling that day. With the ridiculous number of options available to us, I’ve found that we are not very good at choosing what we are going to do when we leave school… and to be honest, most of us don’t get any better. Rather, apart from those few focused individuals, most of us are just embracing whatever opportunities come our way and working as hard as we can to find something that we love, gives us joy and that has purpose.
I probably know less now about what the future holds for me than I did on my graduation day. But I know more than ever that there are things in my future just as or even more remarkable as the remarkable things in my life today.
I’m just going to be my own Beyonce.