My last day as an undergraduate, Friday, had been a pretty good day. I walked to the Senior Party held at the Alumni Center, hung out with Geldes, Matt, and Thom, drank three rum and cokes, and ate some pizza and my (possibly) last Carter’s hot dog. I was pretty tipsy. That was fun. I went back to campus with the guys, and Nick and James found us. No one really seemed to be hanging out, though. James took me back to my apartment so I could finish some packing.

As soon as I walked in, one of my roommates was walking out. She didn’t say a word to me. I started working on things, and realized that she had taken stuff out of the cabinets (and thrown away the banana I was saving for Saturday morning). The fridge was full. I texted her to ask what was hers, and she told me to throw out everything. Let’s get this straight – I rarely saw her take out the trash the entire school year, never cleaned the bathroom she shared with another one of our roommates, cried at the beginning of the year when we confronted her about dish duty (and therefore, we all started washing our own dishes), and never seemed to vacuum – and then all she does to prepare our moving out is to put all her stuff in one corner and take everything out of the cabinets. That’s it. She didn’t vacuum, she didn’t clean out the fridge full of food that only two items were actually mine, and she certainly wasn’t one of the people cleaning the stove or moving the fridge to clean behind it. What a selfish, lazy child.

Anyway, my rage at her sobered me up rather quickly. I cleaned out the fridge and freezer, found an unopened pint of Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream I claimed as my reward, cleaned up my room, vacuumed that and the hall, wiped down the inside of all the cabinets, and then called Krista. Sarah had mentioned that she and Thom were hanging out at Krista’s new place, which I hadn’t seen yet. Besides, my roommates had taken or packed all their utensils away, so there were no spoons. I got directions, and drove over to Krista’s apartment, where James, Nick, Sarah, and Thom were as well. I ate my ice cream, and then we all played Telephone Pictionary.

I went back to my empty apartment near midnight. I played music on my computer and painted my nails purple, since that’s all I could do. The internet had been disconnected, and I had already finished reading The Glass Castle earlier that day. Then I tried to sleep, but I was too excited about Saturday, so I didn’t actually fall asleep until 2:00.

I woke up early and took a bath. We had no shower curtains, so that was pretty much my only option. I chugged a chocolate protein shake and ate a granola bar – like a boss – and fixed my hair and makeup. I packed my car, checked the apartment for any last items I may have forgotten, slipped into my cap and gown, and then headed to campus. Because of weather, the main ceremony was moved inside. I was a little early, but I was kept on my toes by phone calls from friends and family.

I decided to make my way inside to the seating, but there was no true organization for the first ceremony. Ball State hadn’t really prepared anyone – they had made the weather call near 8:00, when it was supposed to be announced at 7:00, and one of the most asked questions from graduates was, “What are we supposed to do?”

Anyway, I decided to go inside and wait for Sarah. I was wearing high heels, and the first steps inside Worthen Arena were slick concrete. Put one and one together, and what do you think happened? Suddenly, I took a tumble on the steps. I was in shock and embarrassed. Several people asked me if I was all right. One woman came up and helped me walk down the remaining steps. I was overwhelmed from the incident and the fact that I had no idea what I was doing, and started crying; I was able to regain my composure quickly, though. They asked me if I wanted a medic, and I declined. I had a bunch of scrapes and bruises, and I was limping a little, but overall, I was okay. I waited for Sarah, and I sat in between her and Brandon for the first commencement ceremony. It was boring and I was either almost falling asleep or making wisecracks with Sarah. There was even a moment where we were whispering the words to “Mulatto Butts” from Archer and giggling.

After that, we were able to track down our respective families. Pictures were taken, we waited for my grandparents, took more pictures, took me to return my apartment key, and then ate lunch. When we returned to campus, I was able to find my dad and his side of the family. They went to my cousin Brian’s graduation from the college of Telecommunications and needed to grab something to eat before going to the Sciences and Humanities one for me (and Brian, who had a double major) at 3:00.

Since I was in the English portion of the Sciences and Humanities graduation, I was able to sit near Laura, Brandon, and Missy. It was like a mini-reunion, and we were all happy. It wasn’t really that strange admitting what had happened to me in student teaching, and what my plans (though uncertain) I have for the future. Everyone seemed supportive and happy for me, though my circumstances were unfortunate.

The second ceremony went by with a woosh, and then I took some pictures with dad’s side of the family before it was time to go. I took off my cap, gown, and high heels to drive on the way home. Alex rode with me, though I felt bad because the stop-and-go traffic on our way out of Muncie made him a little ill.

We made it back to my house, I changed into comfortable clothes, and solicited my brothers in helping me unload my car. Then it was party time, full of friends, family, and others. It was nice, and we had the right amount of food for everyone. It was fun. I know I was hesitant about walking in graduation and about having my graduation party because of all that had happened, but I’m now really glad I did it.

It was quite a whirlwind day, and I opened my presents and cards after everyone left. Alex gave me FLCL on DVD and LCD Soundsystem’s last album, which makes me suspect that he’s been looking at my Amazon Wishlist. I was also pleasantly surprised because Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave gave me two books – one written by Katie Couric on the best advice compiled from famous people, and Tina Fey’s new book, which made me squeal with joy because Tina is definitely one of my favorite famous people ever.

So yeah… that’s all. I survived the past four years, and now I’m officially an alumnus of Ball State University.

Who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll be graduating with my masters degree! (I can dream!)

By the way, my legs look beautiful now – they’re a palette of purple, blue, green, and yellow, I have a scrape on my right foot, and I think I twisted my left ankle. I’m still recuperating.

Advertisements