Today, I graduated from college.
I went to the stage as a college student, with my mortarboard tassel hanging down the right side, and I walked off stage as a college graduate, tassel on the left, a Bachelor’s of Arts diploma in hand.
I graduated with honors! With a Sociology major and a Global Development Studies concentration.
My brother and sister came all the way from Malaysia to watch me graduate. My parents stayed up really late to stream the commencement ceremony live and watch me walk the stage to get my diploma.
I couldn’t have gotten this far without some very, very important people.
My parents. My mom and dad, who were willing to pay for my four years at an expensive liberal arts college. A liberal arts college! Do you know how incredibly supportive typical Asian parents like mine have to be, to be willing to pay that much for a degree from a liberal arts school? A degree in sociology, no less?
One time, in college, I screwed up in a really, really big (non-academic way), and my parents never reprimanded me. All they wanted to know, all that seemed to matter to them, was that I was all right, and that I wasn’t too stressed about it. I can’t describe the gratefulness I felt to them then.
My friends. My friends were the biggest source of motivation for me when Grinnell became too tough, too stressful, too overwhelming–which was so, so often. They, who ta-pau-ed food from the restaurant in town when I was still stuck in my room, too stressed about finishing my final paper to go get dinner. They, who stayed up till 4 a.m., listening to me talk about my worries, my insecurities. They, who wrote me “Be happy!” cards when I was feeling down.
And also, they, who made sure we each get home safe after a night out drinking. They, who listened to my drunken, emotional outbursts, then teased me about it the next morning. They, who danced with me, laughed with me, cried with me.
I couldn’t have gotten this far without the support and love from these people. Going through college (and graduating) is definitely not a solo effort.
Grinnell College class of 2012!
, I will miss ya like crayzay.