Saturday, May 19, 2012

Life After College

*Warning: Very Image Heavy and Wordy Post*
May 19th officially marks my one year graduation anniversary! The only reason I really thought about it was because I'm still working on campus and graduation is only a week or so away. All the talk about graduation and events that's been going around the office where I work got me started thinking about how my life has changed over the last year. Honestly, the changes I've experience since graduating college have probably been unconventional, compared to most people's anxieties after college.

For me, the biggest adjustment I've had to come to terms with has been the lack of order, or structured progress that my life now has. This isn't to say that I feel that I feel that my life does not have purpose or meaning, I just feel that it is not progressing towards any particular plan. Every since I was about 4 years old and in Pre-K, my main goal in life has been to make it to the next grade; get through elementary school and go to middle school, get through middle school and go to high school, get through high school and go to college. Now that college is over, and nothing is really planned out for me, I really have no idea what to do with myself.

The other thing that's been a little difficult adjusting to is the massive amounts of free time that I find myself with now. This is the first time since I was four, that I do not have some form of homework. In college, I would basically spend most of my non-class time either reading at least 100 pages for each class, or writing papers. Now I have nothing to fill my time with. Of course there's my gaming, but after a point, that gets a little boring. The good thing about having a lot of free time, is that I now have more time to focus on myself, such as developing hobbies like my blog, and practicing my languages (one reason that I never really learned them in the class was that I hardly had time to actually study).

Another thing is that I'm finding that I have absolutely no social life now, even compared to the scant one that I had before. Throughout my life, most, if nor all of my friends have come from school. Now that I'm not in school, I have no idea how to meet new people. Of course I have work now, but, with most jobs, most of the people you'll work around are much older than you, and usually have families. I have absolutely no problem being friends with older people, but honestly it can be hard to find common ground when there is a significant age gap. Working as a temp doesn't help either, considering that, although everyone is nice to you, there is an obvious distinction between the "real employees" and the "temp." Also, as I've mentioned before, I'm not big on social networking (I think it's very, very superficial), especially when it comes to meeting people and making friends.

All in all, my post-graduation life is as much of a learning experience as my life during college was. I think this new adjustment is by far the hardest, and most emotionally and psychologically challenging. Below are picture from the School of Arts & Sciences graduation ceremony and Commencement. Because our university is so large, each of the schools has their own graduation ceremony, and then the university hosts Commencement for everyone, where the president formally declares you officially graduated. I've put them together in an effort to not stretch the page beyond all logical limits, since there were a lot of pictures. *Imagine 3rd Eye Blind's song "Graduate" playing as you look at the pictures!*

Pictures of me with my friends from my college house, Duyen and Young

A group of student pass Beijing, the pest Chinese restaurant on campus, on their way to Franklin Field for the School of Art's & Science graduation ceremony.
Pictures taken as we go down Locust Walk for Commencement. The alumni/university officials lined the walk in their academic regalia, cheering on the soon to be graduates.
The School of Arts & Science's students gather outside of Franklin Field before the graduation ceremony, which took place the day before Commencement.
I took this picture as we entered the stadium for Commencement. On a side note, I absolutely love Photobuckets new editing tools! Just look at the difference in picture quality of the one on the left (edited) and the one on the right (unedited).
Tens of thousands of students file in for the university's Commencement ceremony.

The university officials file in after the student procession.
These are the speakers from the School of Arts & Sciences graduation ceremony: former Mayor Rendell, and the valedictorian.

Shots of Denzel as he gives the Commencement speech!
The lat moments of college life. This is the end of Commencement where President Amy Gutman declared everyone graduates of the class of 2012!

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