On Sunday, I officially Graduated from the University of Illinois.
I went to both graduation ceremonies, the large one in the Assembly Hall (the only college arena that looks like it could house aliens,) and the School of Music Convocation.
While both ceremonies were quite nice, the thing that stuck out to me the most was seeing everyone in their caps and gowns. I went up to some of my friends that I had not seen regularly since sophomore year* gave them big hugs, and there was an overwhelming feeling of “We Did It! We did this together, and look at where we are and how far we have come.” That moment made graduation for me truly magical, and that is what will stick in my mind forever.
Yesterday I left my apartment of two years in Urbana. It was just weird packing up my things and moving out of a place where I had so many wonderful memories. I was excited, anxious, and sad at the same time. I guess that this is good practice for when I leave my house in Michigan in a couple of weeks for Burkina Faso.
I also stopped at Cabela’s in Indiana on the way back home and got many of the things on my Peace Corps Packing List. Including
-North Face Terra 65 Pack (Yes Erez, I know what you are thinking), Black Diamond Icon Headlamp, Solar Charger, KA-BAR hunting knife, a hat, dry-fast towels, and a couple of other things.
I also came home to discover that my Bug Hut has arrived along with a lovely Flea Ukulele, named Moana (Hawaiian for ocean) which I plan on taking with me to Burkina Faso.
As I am writing this, things still don’t feel real. My degree will not be conferred until June 20th, and all I got from Graduation was a diploma cover…(I jest).
Another shout-out to all of the University of Illinois Graduates! We did it! Live Long and Prosper!
*In our music school curriculum, every undergrad student must take 4 semesters of music theory and 4 semesters of aural skills. After that the music performance and music education majors do not really see each other very much, as they have different classes to take.