The Graduate

On Wednesday, December 17, 2014- my experience with formal education came to a conclusion. It's been three days since I submitted my last final, and I'm only beginning to process that I don't need to spend a small fortune on textbooks for an upcoming semester. I never have to register for classes, or transfer money from my savings account to meet the deficit left after scholarships.

I have spent more than 68% of my life at school, and it's going take some getting used to life without it. Throughout this past year, kindly neighbors and friends would ask, "Are you planning to pursue a Master's?", "What will you do with yourself after school?"

The former exhausts me: I just escaped with a Bachelor's at 19 and I'm still overwhelmed by it. Also, considering that I majored in English with the hopes of becoming a photojournalist, I don't see how a Master's would be of much benefit. Already I feel that in certain fields an Associate's is superior, and I have many stories of people who make more with a two-year degree than those with a Master's. I also believe that knowledge can be acquired beyond the classroom, and feel that I learned more through my few years of real world experience in the workforce than I have behind a textbook. So no, I will never see "M.A." follow my name, nor will I ever be referred to as "Dr. Meg" (though that does sound snazzy).

From my two and a half years of college, I became rather cynical of it. After seeing the mortgage-sized loans graduates accumulate, I can't find too many degrees that justify the debt. Of course, I do want the surgeon operating on me to have a doctorate (and beyond), but is a masters in creative writing necessary?

The latter question- although meant to be light-hearted- rankles me as well. Back in March, I wrote an entire post on what I plan on filling the vacancy in my time with. This past semester I was a full-time student and a full-time employee. I think I'll just stick with being a full-time employee.

Still, it's incredible to think that I am done with school. There have been moments when I just sit and cry tears of joy, recognizing what I have just accomplished and celebrating the beginning of my next step in life. I didn't want to attend college in the first place, and I don't think I would have had it not been for my grandmother. She took such pride in seeing me graduate high school, and has the highest hopes for me. I knew then that she wanted for me what she did not have the opportunity to even try for. I am grateful that I had the opportunity she never did, and this B.A. in English is for her. I'm the first in my family to earn a four-year degree. Let's make it pay off.