One week from today I will be a college graduate!

Last night was my last college choir concert ever. Music has been a constant ever since I went back to school, and it’s been the main thing that’s kept me sane and motivated throughout all the stress of getting my degree. I stepped off stage after our last number, and our director asked for a picture with me in the green room. Afterwards, she hugged me, patted my head and said “You be good. It was a pleasure having you here, and I have absolutely no idea who I’m going to get to sing the highest soprano notes after you.” I immediately burst into tears. I’m going to miss singing in an ensemble every day so much. I really hope there’s a community choir or something similar I can get involved with post-graduation.

Maybe it’s partially the dosage adjustment my doctor made to my antidepressants (heh) but I’m feeling a lot more calm and ready about this next chapter. I’m the first person in my family to graduate from college with a four year degree. I did this largely on my own, in that I worked my way through and paid my own way. I’m finishing with (hopefully, if I get the expected grades in my last classes) a 3.5 GPA which I hope sets me up well for grad school applications. Not that many years ago, I thought that would have been impossible.

I’m for sure taking the next year off, but I’m kind of keeping plans looser after that. I am planning to take the GRE in late spring, and I’m going to start looking closer at master’s programs after the first of the year. I mostly just want some time to live my life. Sleep more, start exercising again, cook leisurely meals at home, try to get out and meet some new people and make some new friends. It’d be awesome to find a better paying job too, so I can start building my savings back up for grad school and maybe some travel. I’m also turning 30 in two months, and I want to plan something special to celebrate that. Lots of big milestones in a short period.

I realized the other day that I’m kind of blazing my own trail here, going into age 30. When my mom was my age, she’d been widowed twice and was absent from my life- drug addiction and her own demons from losing two husbands. My other major caretaker as a child, my aunt, died when she was 30. In my mind, my future dreaming always seemed to shut off at age 30, and I realized that’s probably why. I’m here now though. I made it, and it’s time to go explore post-grad, thirties life. I’m confident that I can figure it out and have a good time. I’m hopeful that my thirties will be way more enjoyable and stable than my twenties.

Time to go write my last two papers as an undergrad student. Fingers crossed.