I (kind of) Graduated
Almost. I am very close.
This year is weird. We all know that. There's no final classes together or a walk across the stage. I didn't expect to be all that emotional about it but I was.
Augustana decided to do a drive-thru gauntlet and I received my cap and diploma cover in a box. Also a cupcake.
I had to go through that gauntlet alone. I did bring my dog. Harley was very happy to see people she didn't live with and very quickly jumped to my lap to say hello to my professors.
As I passed favorite professors, I kept it pretty cool. I smiled and laughed and paused for pictures. It wasn't until I was no longer surrounded by people that the tears started. Not for very long, I had to drive and keep a dog from jumping onto President Herseth Sandlin. Everyone's favorite part was Harley, I can't blame any of them.
I didn't really expect to cry though. Maybe it was because I was alone or just the entire situation but there was definitely a moment where I had to press on the breaks and cry for a bit.
It wasn't supposed to be like. Not for any of us. But I guess, technically, I still did it. I drove through the gauntlet and saw some of my favorite people. But I did it without my absolute favorite people. The family that was supposed to be here are quarantined, the friends aren't allowed to see each other, and my boyfriend is an entire state away.
Maybe I cried because I wasn't supposed to be alone for this. We weren't supposed to be wearing masks that hid our smiles and we definitely weren't supposed to be handed diploma covers in a box. It was a valiant attempt at closure, and I'm sure a lot of people got that. I'm not so sure about me, though.
Even if Harley did make every single person in the gauntlet melt. She's a pretty good dog.
photo by Jayna Fitzsimmons