Never have I been more excited for a graduation. This wasn’t just a celebration of my accomplishment, but it was a chance for me to get to return to Scotland and recharge my batteries.
This was by far the best graduation ceremony I have ever participated in. Everything about the check-in and seating was easy, the hall was beautiful, and the pomp and circumstance was brilliant. Luckily I was seated next to one of my best friends in the program, and the good banter and the laughs through parts of the ceremony made the hour and half go quickly.
This day almost didn’t happen. 10 months ago I convinced myself that I didn’t need to go back for graduation. I knew that I would be just about done with my first semester of my doctoral degree, and I figured I couldn’t afford to take the time off. I told my mom I had been through enough graduations, and didn’t need to sit through another one. After I finished my dissertation, I decided that I needed to go back and fully celebrate the hard work and everything that my nine months meant there. She was on board from minute one, and was overjoyed that my graduation fell over Thanksgiving weekend and she wouldn’t have to take any time off of work. Since I only got two tickets for the ceremony, I decided that Kelly needed to go. She has been to all of my graduations, but she had yet to visit Scotland and experience the magic of one of my favorite places in the whole world.
The week we spent there was perfect. I got to show Kelly all of my favorite places, got to see a lot of my friends, and got a much needed break from school, work, and all of the stress of the last few weeks.
I had two fears before I left: the first was that I would get no work done (which I didn’t…unless you count the 500 words I wrote in the airport the day we left) and that I would return to the States depressed that I was no longer in Scotland. While I was extremely happy to be in Scotland, and didn’t exactly rush home, I came home feeling recharged, and ready to finish the semester strong (of course, I still have one paper to work on, and have no idea how to finish it, so we will see how long those good feelings last). The only sad thing about coming home this time is I am not sure when I will get to see my friends again. Video chats with them are great, but do not compare to being able to see them face to face.
While this is not my last graduation, I am sure that it will be my favorite.