I walked across the stage in a cap and gown and was handed a very expensive piece of paper last week. I've done this three times in the past 7 years, so I kinda know the drill by now.
And every time, the graduation festivities are bittersweet. They are exciting but they bring forth uncertainty. They are celebrated but they cause sad goodbyes. And my graduation from graduate school was no different, minus the fact that it was tens of degrees hotter than any other graduation I have been a part of or attended. Whew.
I learned more than I can put into words during my last two years at Vanderbilt, and the counseling skills are something that I will continue to refine and use for the rest of my life. I met friends and colleagues and mentors and teachers, many of whom I hope to keep for the rest of my life. I was supported by my incredible parents, friends, and family, all of whom I am extremely thankful to have in my life.
Part of the weirdness of finishing grad school is that it really seems like this is the end of my formal schooling. I hope to be a lifelong learner. And I could always end up back in school for one reason or another, but, for right now, this looks like the end.