Crossing the finish line

My commencement ceremony from St. Mary’s was held at the end of May and I was geared up for it. I know several of my classmates opted out of participating in the ceremony but I don’t understand why you would. This is a day when you can bask in the glow of your achievement plus, do you know the loads of attention and well-wishes you get? It’s quite addicting to the attention whores, which I will admit I have a tendency of being. There was no way I was going to miss out on all of the pomp and circumstance.

There, I said it: I like being the center of attention.

Anywho, I was really excited to participate in my final academic commencement ceremony [because, let’s face it: I’m REALLY done with school now], especially since I would be wearing the coveted Master’s hood along with my cap and gown. Extra ornamentation? Score! I had wanted one since I first laid eyes on them at my undergraduate commencement at Michigan. And now, I was finally getting my own. I worked hard for that hood and I was going to enjoy wearing it.

The day of my ceremony was a bit hectic since I headed up to the campus directly after church but once we got there, it was pretty smooth sailing. Until I thought my gown was broken.

What’s that you say? A broken gown? How is that possible? Well, when I went to put on my gown, I was confused when my arm wouldn’t go through what I thought was the sleeve. The bf made fun of me and my apparent lack of preparation [no, I didn’t put on my gown when I received it. I was too busy running around with my Master’s hood] and I slightly panicked before suggesting we hit up the library to see if they had a pair of scissors. Thankfully, as I studied the stitching to see where I could make a cut, it dawned on me that those were NOT the sleeves but just the part of extra fabric that hangs down for comedic effect [because seriously, what are those thingies and their purpose? A place for snacks?]. I will admit that I felt pretty foolish [especially since I was there…to get my Master’s degree…that I apparently somehow managed to earn considering I couldn’t get my stupid gown to work] until I saw several other people making the same mistake I did. Ahh, the comfort of stupidity in numbers.


We had arrived on campus about a couple hours before the ceremony was supposed to start so we took our time ambling around before meeting up with some friends of mine. I was really glad the bf was able to come watch me graduate because his support through my program was tremendous and it really wouldn’t have been the same without him. Plus, I love how I now have pictures from both of our graduations:

University of Michigan: Class of 2007

Saint Mary’s College of California, MBA: Class of 2011

We can be kind of silly

A partial group of my cohorts

Our class was the first time the school had produced one single commencement ceremony with all three graduate programs, so no one knew what to expect [we also found out that no one knew how we were supposed to wear those darn hoods either. I swear I saw a different way of wearing it on every person there. We assumed the staff would help us out but nope, they just let us do whatever]. The ceremony moved at a pretty nice pace. After failing to herd all of us  into our lines in alphabetical order [as soon as our handlers got us in place, we’d wander off to chat with friends] before we began our processional into the stadium, we entered and found our seats [they had water bottles waiting for all of us!]. The keynote speaker wasn’t very good – her speech was disjointed and strange, but before we knew it, we were being led onto the stage.

The Business School was the first to graduate and because the two people before me did not attend, I was the very first person to walk across the stage. The combination of hearing my name being called, shaking the dean’s hand and seeing my family cheering for me may have went to my head a bit:

Excited much?

I later found this picture had made the commencement slideshow featured on the school’s website. Would you believe I was the ONLY person who reacted this way? I didn’t mind; the professors who were on stage certainly got a kick out of my reaction, as many of them chuckled and cheered themselves, telling me that since I worked hard for that degree and I should definitely celebrate just like that. I think I did something similar when I got my Bachelor’s so this is just my character.

This was a very memorable day for me and I enjoyed every moment of it. I’m a little sad that there will be no more graduations for me but I will look back on this one with a lot of joy. I still can’t believe those two years are over. I really doesn’t feel like it was that long ago when I randomly decided to go back to school to get my MBA, struggled through studying for the GMAT, getting my butt handed to me by the GMAT, then studied some more and somehow managed to get one really good shove in, worried about getting in and finally getting my acceptance to St. Mary’s.

A lot has happened in those two years I was in school. I did a lot of work, made some good friends, learned way more than I ever thought I would about Genentech, experienced some life changes but in the end, I walked away with my MBA. All in all, it was the best way to spend those two years. What a way to close the Legally Blonde Chronicles and my academic career eh?


2 thoughts on “Crossing the finish line

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