Yesterday I received an email telling me that my thesis has been accepted by the graduate school.
My status has been changed to final clearance.
What does that mean?
The era of higher education, for me anyway, is done. Complete. Finished. Beginning around six years ago, this month, my technical graduation will be August, but for all practical purposes, I’ve completed my schooling.
It’s been a long journey. Starting in upstate South Carolina and eventually finding my way to Florida, I’ve had many experiences as a student. Realizing that my studies have completed, I became a little nostalgic. There is so much I miss about my undergraduate experience… the city of Clemson, the friends that I had there, meeting the love of my life (and marrying him), summer Sundays at Lake Hartwell, and fresh fall Saturdays spent on the hill with 80,000 of my closest friends (only fellow Tigers know what I’m talking about).
Those are days I will never forget. Let alone the less pleasant memories…my first failing grade, thinking my love was going to have to stay in Turkey right after meeting him, professors who couldn’t teach their way out of a paper bag…
But the good memories are so much more than the bad ones.
And then I came here.
Most of the memories I’ve made since moving to Florida revolve around married life. Like I had said before, Hubby and I married a week before moving further south…so I wasn’t surrounded with the friends one can only make during their undergrad, but I did experience so many other things that only graduate school can provide. That incomparable rush when you make an A in the hardest class in the department, spending every waking moment working on your research, forgetting what the outside of the lab looks like, and second guessing why in the world you are here.
But I came.
And now it’s done.
Of course there were lots of vacation/ beach trip memories to be made too, but those aren’t over. There are plenty of beaches to enjoy in Turkey (can’t beat the Mediterranean, am I right?)…but school, formally, is done. I can’t even wrap my head around it! What will I do with my time?
You never stop learning, really. For instance, I will be learning Turkish, sewing, cooking methods, etc (inshallah)…but there is something so heavy about finishing something you have been working on for years. Six years, to be precise. I wonder if I will look back on Florida the way I look back at Clemson…with fondness, and a pang of longing. Time will only tell, I guess…
It’s the end of an era.