I knew this day was coming for weeks. I was counting down, preparing myself emotionally, and giving myself time to come to grips with the fact that by May 18th I would be moving out and leaving Oxford for the very last time. I told myself that this was not the end per se, that all good things do eventually reach their end, and that it was okay to cry (which I did drunkenly at one of our favorite bars a few weeks prior to graduation during “Young, Wild, and Free”…no judgement.) Given my acceptance of the eventual ending of my college career and what I truly believe have been the best years of my life (so far), I thought I would be completely prepared once the day came for us to don our caps and gowns and participate in our final ceremony. I was not.
The entire weekend was a dream, one that I still cannot believe was reality. Given that the underclassmen had all left for the summer, the campus was a desolate haven for Seniors and their families. We owned Oxford, and we were basking in all of our accomplishments and glory. The happiness was palatable from Uptown and throughout campus. In true Miami fashion, we went out the night before graduation and it may actually been the most fun we have ever had. And we’ve had A LOT of fun these past four years. I filmed a video but I think I’m just going to keep that one to myself. Here’s a photo though.
The evening before graduation, my best friends and I roamed the campus, revisiting some of our favorite places and taking some group photos. We visited our freshman year dorm on North Quad where our friendships began, very randomly and abruptly. We also stopped by the signature Seal, slant walk, and the Upham Arch. I got a little teary eyed during the shoot but luckily I was able to somehow keep it together. These girls have been everything to me and I do not even want to envision a life without them. Here is one of the shots we got. Yeah, we cute.
Graduation morning was a blur. We all shook off our hangovers and got our apartment ready for our family and friends, who were coming from all parts of the country to celebrate with us. I proceeded to attempt to get cute for my parents who had just driven 12 hours to be with me, and in the process had no time to think about anything let alone dwell on my sadness of leaving. Between running around the apartment, leaving for Yager, and walking into the stadium in front of thousands of families, friends, and professors, it seems like the day lasted an hour though I know it was truly 12 hours of pandemonium. It is hard to explain the feeling of entering that stadium and the swell of pride I think we all felt in that moment. It was shock, awe, disbelief, and pure joy all at once. Having Forrest Whitaker as our keynote speaker was an equally unreal experience, as his words of wisdom and encouragement were beyond anything I could have asked for. We are an extremely lucky class to have had him speak to us on such a momentous occasion.
Here are some photos from throughout the day. I think they speak for themselves!
I know that I have led an amazing life at Miami, and I also know that there is so much more for me to see and experience in my post-graduation life. I can’t wait to see where everyone takes their talents and how they utilize all that they have learned at Miami in their respective fields. We are all growing into adults, but I will always fondly remember us as the students who had the time of our lives while simultaneously absorbing a wealth of knowledge only Miami could provide for us. I now know that graduation day is not one you can truly prepare for, and it’s one you will likely never forget.