Commencement: From an Inside Source

Posted: Thursday, May 17th 2018 at 10:27 AM

We spend four years, some more, some less, waking up early for classes or work and staying up all day and night for more classes or work. For example, those early Supply Chain lectures or late afternoon Capstones and late night study sessions, and on our final day we still have to be up early. Is this being adult? I suppose so. We’re told to arrive at the J Lawrence Walkup Skydome at 9:00 AM for our 10:00 AM commencement, so begrudgingly we do, only because we know THIS IS IT! No more classes, quizzes, exams, or homework for most us. This is the end of a chapter and now it’s time for us to write a new one.

I’ve gone to many commencement ceremonies and always saw them from the stands, the view from that skydome floor is one I’ll never forget. There were over 1500 students, faculty, and staff members. I can’t even begin to fathom the number of family and friends that attended but it was at least three or four times more. I spent eight years working through college and growing as an individual, to say that my view from that floor on the Saturday morning of May 12 was worth it, is an understatement. When you see so many people in the stands looking down at you, it really makes you wonder the thousands of collected stories that come from their lives. The diversity of where we’ve been, where we’re going, and where we want to be, truly exemplifies what it means to be a part of a college community.

A community for some is just a group of people, but to others, it’s a family. The relationships I’ve built, the friendships I’ve gained and lost, they have a been a part of my time at NAU and this family I’ve become a part of, has been my support system through many ups and downs. It just goes to show that no matter how long you’ve been in college, it’s not the amount of time that matters, it’s the amount of moments made in that time that make a person who they are.

Whether someone is in college for four years or more, the achievement and the accomplishment felt when they finish cannot be matched. There is no other feeling like it. It’s a big change going from full time student to full time work and if you ask any students, many are not quite ready for it. They’re excited, nervous, and scared. There is more uncertainty in life after college and no one can know for sure where they’ll end up or what they’ll be doing, but there’s some excitement in all of this too. A future that is in our hands and we are no longer limited by education. They say the sky is limit but the world is round so I say, there’s no limit to anything.

I am proud to join the other 736 students as we step into the fields of endless possibilities and live our lives as newly inducted members of the Lumberjack Alumni family. I am thankful for my time at Northern Arizona University and look forward to seeing what’s next.