I graduate tomorrow. Like, from college. What.
It’s come so fast and I feel so unprepared for it. This was me yesterday! I swear it was yesterday. I was weird and kind of dumb and really awkward, just graduating from high school like it was no big deal.
And here I am now, ready to call Utah State University my alma mater.
At this point, I’m having an internal freak out.
On Wednesday, I took my last final. Today, I’m turning in my last paper. A week ago, I had my last class. It was probably the best of the whole semester, and I felt this deep ache because who knows if my learning experiences will ever be the same from now on. I love education. It is so important to me. But this fall will be the first fall in seventeen years that I don’t return to school. (I just had no time to think about or apply for grad school.)
What will I do next? That’s the big question, isn’t it?
_What are you going to do now? _
Oh, the places you’ll go, Dr. Seuss writes. But he never says where. Where am I going to go? What is my place in the world now?
Going to school for Creative Writing was a risk. A big risk. I wanted to be a journalist at first, but then I realized that my real love rests in writing for myself, writing creatively. Ever since that moment when I chose to pursue a dream, I’ve been bombarded by questions.
What are you going to do with an English degree?
_Aren’t you worried that you won’t have a job after graduating? _
_Why did you even have to go to school if you were just going to study writing? _
It didn’t take long for me to internalize those things. What am I doing? Is this whole experience a waste? My college experience has been far different than that of my friends, who are double majoring for job security, involved in the Honors program, going on to grad school, studying things like engineering or business.
Compared to them, I haven’t done a whole lot. What I’ve done is a whole lot of comparing these four years.
As I think about it now, however, I find that I didn’t go to college for a degree. I went there to serve my Heavenly Father. That sounds strange, and in my major, to even suggest that academics and divinity go hand in hand is to expose yourself to ridicule and send your reputation to ruins, but _I know that I didn’t attend Utah State just for me. _
As a freshmen, I joined an Institute committee because I had no place else to go. I didn’t have any direction, so I forged my own.
For the past four years, now, I have given the Lord a large chunk of my time. By choosing to do so, I sacrificed academic accolades, close relationships with professors, resume zingers like “Highest GPA” or “Double Major with a Something Something Minor.” My degree, when I receive it, will be plain and simple.
But to strip my value to nothing but that of a piece of paper is to forget what the Lord has given me.
A glimpse into what my Savior is like.
Tomorrow, when I walk across that stage and throw my cap into the air and say goodbye, for now, to Utah State University, I will be reborn. Reset, if you will. That degree is just one part of a huge, all-encompassing, beautiful plan. The first act of a play that outdoes Shakespeare’s in size, influence, and magnificence. And I’m one of the Lord’s most valuable players.