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Commencement Blues and High School Flashbacks

I know that in the grand scheme of things this doesn't count as a true crisis. But to me I feel like something is missing, and that thing is my degree.

So, I know that a lot of people don't finish college in four years, and I'm one of them. Hell, the commencement speaker didn't finish in four years. But I set high expectations for myself after accomplishing so much in high school while being really sick and lonely. College gave me a fresh start.

But this weekend, while fun and rewarding, I can't really continue to put on a brave face and tell myself that this is just two ceremonies. I have my department commencement today, and I'm not even sure if I want to go. I mean, it's harder than the big commencement because this is the one where I am supposed to get my degree. But that's not the case.


I want to take pictures, which is the only reason I would go. But I don't really have any friends in my department, and it just a really bad flashback to high school. Except, unlike high school graduation, I haven't just gotten out of the hospital and high on painkillers, after almost dying.

My department means so much to me. My major is my life. I don't know what I would do without my field of study (history), because it gave me the tools to figure out what I love. I had some great professors, and a good ride.

But it's really hard for me to accept and see all my friends-who are staying in the area, thank god-move on to their next chapter, while I'm still on this one page. Again, I know everyone has their own path, but I didn't expect this to be mine.

I made some bad choices in terms of picking classes (had a panic attack during orientation, so I picked my own classes). I'm ashamed that I had to go to rehab my junior year, thus setting me back a quarter and admitting to myself that I have a substance abuse problem (pills). I finally got the correct mental health diagnoses, but it took so long to take and it felt like I lost these years to my own mistakes and bad luck.


I just...I don't know. I'm crying right now, and I don't know what to do. I realized all this when I heard all the speeches about how 'the class of 2013 is going great places' and all of that. I feel like an impostor, because I'm the class of 2014. Like it's all a sham.

I know this is a bit of a pity party, but it's just...I can't really do this anymore. I want to go so bad, but it makes me feel awful. Like I'm just so empty. I know if I don't go I'll regret it, but if I do go I'll feel like a failure.


I've been putting on a brave face for a great deal of my life, and everyone has their own burdens to carry. I know I'm not alone-in fact, my best friend isn't graduating until I am. But I wanted to prove to myself that I could beat all the people who thought they were smarter and better than me in high school. I wanted to prove that I was, well, I guess really not better than them, but at least the only person who got into one of the best universities in the world, while they had to settle. One of the moms of a fellow high school student came up to my mom and me and said, "Well, how did VV get into this school? I mean, my daughter worked her ass off and VV couldn't even do calc. My daughter did way more". Her daughter didn't, but I did volunteer work up the ass and got in on my own merits and taking the road less traveled.

My parents are pushing me to go, and I probably will. But I feel like I can't hold it together. It's an awful feeling knowing that something you wanted so bad just didn't work. Life isn't easy, nothing is handed to you, and everyone (well, every person grounded in reality) knows this. I never thought I was automatically entitled to anything unless I worked for it. But did I even work hard enough? The universe is not going to end because of this, no one will think less of me, but I think less of me.


Sorry for the repetitive rant. I just don't know what else to say. It feels good to get this all out, and to tell the truth as best I can. Thank you for listening.

Edit: I went! The speaker said "you can't compare yourself to anyone else". That made me feel better. But, to translate Caesar: I came, I saw, I conquered!

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