In the biorhythm of the academic year, this time of year ties together all the loose ends, providing a sense of finality. Next week I will attend graduation again. This must be how my daughter, who is a pediatrician, feels when she attends a child’s birth. It is incredibly unique to the participants, but the doctor has seen this before. Actually, Linda and I have already attended nine graduations of our own children, and we likely have at least three more to attend, the Lord willing.
This does not count all the graduations I have attended in my 22 years as a professor. They have varied in size and approach, but I am taken by how the people involved always embrace the event. In my first academic stop, I was not a fan of attending what seemed an impersonal exercise. In my second job, all faculty members were required to attend graduation and, since there were only about 100 of us, you would be noticed if you didn’t. Faculty would wait at the end of the stage for students from their discipline to walk off, and the students would go through a receiving line of handshakes and hugs. It was a very personal experience, usually held on the college lawn in May. It is one of the reasons that parents spend inordinate amounts of money to send their kids to small liberal arts schools.
As everyone knows, the ceremonies themselves are inordinately boring, almost without fail. Because of the size of the graduation, Texas A&M hosts the keynote speaker at a commencement convocation on Thursday prior to the five graduation ceremonies on Friday and Saturday. This shortens the graduation ceremony considerably, but it also removes virtually all hope that anything memorable will be said. But this does not mean that the ceremony is unimportant.
If Muster is what brings us back and holds us together, graduation is what propels us forward. For students, it is the uncertain embracing of responsibility, a little like cliff diving when you are not exactly sure how deep the water is. For those of us who invest in these students, it is a bittersweet goodbye to conversations in the hallway and the classroom, and a recognition that we are largely unnecessary to our students’ future successes. This is healthy, because there are others who need our investment. To linger too long regretting our losses is to miss the opportunity to invest our lives again.
This morning at Starbucks I saw Jessica, who is two years removed from this place that she loves, early in her marriage and motoring forward with her accounting firm. It brightened my day to see her face. But it heartened me even more to hear that she is investing her life in ministering to the homeless in Dallas through her church, even while she assumes substantial responsibility running jobs at the firm. She is not simply pursuing wealth and building business skills; she is investing in people and leading, inside and outside the work environment.
Last weekend Linda, Nathan and I drove to central Oklahoma to meet our older son, Kenny, at a state park. We spent our time together hiking and playing games but, more than anything, we laughed. It was a celebration of life, both life as we knew it and life as it is. Our boys are ten years apart in age. One still needs us, to some extent, and the other one doesn’t. One has gone on to greater things, the other aspires to greatness.
Still, it is clear to me how important it is to plug back in, to recharge, and to remember. It would be sad for Kenny if he did not have a place to return to where he is loved unconditionally, not based on his performance as a line manager in a Cessna plant. It would also be sad if he had not moved forward into his life apart from us. We pray the same will be true for his younger brother, and we are grateful for how Kenny reaches out to mentor Nathan in making the transition, while affirming him in who he is as a high school sophomore.
We have seen this happen before with our children, but we are reaching the end of watching these transitions. On the other hand, as long as I have the privilege of entering the university classroom, I will watch this process repeat itself with my students. I will cheer from the bleachers for them, and I will pose for a few pictures afterwards. I will rejoice in the celebration of their accomplishments.
I will watch them walk across that stage, and down the steps, and into a world that desperately needs people of character who will invest themselves in others. I will watch them walk forward confidently, but not without a glance over the shoulder to remember what this place has provided them.
Because, on a May Saturday in a place like this, walking forward into the waiting world is exactly what you ought to do.
Although I have only been to a few Texas A&M graduation ceremonies, I understand the significance of graduating as an Aggie. It is only going to be another eleven days before I walk across the stage at Reed Arena. It marks the end of the most significant era in my life. However, it also marks a new beginning in my life as well. This will be evident when I turn my aggie ring around to show the world that I am a graduate of Texas A&M. The storied traditions I have learned over my time at Texas A&M will stay with me forever. However, I am extremely excited moving forward to the unlimited possibilities that I will encounter over my professional life.
I think it’s easy for professors to underestimate the impact that they impart on their students. It’s absolutely true that most professors do not get the credit or recognition deserved for the wisdom, knowledge, and nuggets of success that they pass along. College is a time of exponential growth for most, not just in their academic learning, but in building guiding principles and in defining the definition of success. Although I’m still a year removed from my inevitable walk across the graduation stage, this year ends bittersweet as I’ll watch many of my closest friends receive their diplomas. Many would agree that the professors that have guided them through the 120+ hours of class in their 4+ years here in Aggieland have contributed significantly to the foundation that will bring inevitable future success. To the professors who have aided my journey thus far, including you Dr. Shaub, thank you.
While I have only been to my own high school graduation, I believe the significance is especially important to each individual student. After working so hard for 4+ years it is a symbolic progression into a new stage of your life, whether you know where you are going or not. As I come closer to graduation, there are professors that I know I will remember forever and others that simply just allowed me to progress to the point that I am today. At A&M, while just as important, it is harder to capture the feeling because all your friends might not be graduating with you, at least physically. Some people even choose to just have their diplomas sent to them via mail to get away from a long, boring ceremony. I feel that even if a student did not feel the significance of the actual ceremony, graduating is a good way of saying “hey, this is where I have been the last 4 years” to your parents.
My family is not big into traditions. When I received my Aggie Ring, my parents did not come to present it to me and were not present at the celebration afterwards. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that I did not express to them the importance of it. And honestly, until the day of, I didn’t realize how important it really was to me. I do not come from an Aggie family and knew very few people who attended A&M before I arrived here. I was excited to get my ring, but have become increasingly more independent over the past four years and did not feel it was necessary to bother them with such a thing.
Of course, once my parents realized how important getting your ring at A&M was, they were disappointed they were not here for it. Reading your blog further emphasizes to me the importance of continual communication with family as you enter into what becomes the real world. I thought at the time I was solidifying my independence, but, looking back, I find I was avoiding the supportive environment my family provides. I believe it was important to learn that lesson with my Aggie Ring and not my graduation. I realize now that having and accepting the support of your family is not a sign of dependence, but a sign of mutual love. Thank you for helping me to remember this going forward; I appreciate how open you have been with your life throughout the semester.
I could not agree more about how boring graduations can be, and i think you described it well as something that propels us forward. Being a year from graduating and hearing friends talk about what is going through their heads, I have been filled with thoughts of what this day will involve and the days after. It will be a very proud day, whenever I can finally join my father and brother as an Aggie graduate. I know after being to a few of my family members college graduations that they symbolize so much more than just a ceremony. It’s all the hard work and thousands of hours that were poured out so that we can grow as people. This is a great picture of what graduation is about.
What I like about graduation ceremonies is that every individual at the ceremony has a unique experience although everyone is witnessing the same thing. Graduation is the time to reflect on how much you’ve grown over your tenure at school both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. What I find fascinating about graduation is that it is often an event that people look forward to and dread at the same time. We look forward to it because we want to continue to grow and build on our success to amass the future we desire. This day is dreaded because of the uncertainty of how the next chapter of our lives is going to unfold while we are comfortable where we are right now. As we progress through life, we are able to determine the things and people that are most important to us. By the time we graduate we should understand our priorities enough to determine how to make sure we can still hold on the the things we love most without sacrificing what we want to still accomplish.
Many of my friends are graduating in a little over a week and they are all preparing themselves for the end of an important chapter in their lives. Some have enrolled in graduate courses, others are making sure they do their favorite things to do in Aggieland while they are still here, and others are just panicking. I guarantee that when every one of my friends walk across the stage and receive their diploma they will feel a sense of accomplishment and a fervent desire to succeed in whatever it is they choose to do next. We don’t leave this university without the tools to achieve what we wish to accomplish in the next chapter of our lives. Once we realize this, we can rejoice in our prior accomplishments, hold on to what is most important to us, and start making the future we want become a reality.
It was just a year ago that I got to walk across stage and receive my undergraduate degree. It was such an awesome feeling to finally hold that degree in hand. I also was the very first person to walk across stage at graduation, so that made the experience even more special for me.
To think it was only one short year ago that I walked across that stage is crazy. It seems like so much time has passed since that day and so much of my life has changed. My friends that attended my graduation last year who are now graduating themselves, have even changed an exponential amount. I know that things always change, but for some reason this year has brought on more than most. I think ever since that graduation day, my life has really been propelling itself forward. Things that I was only hoping and dreaming of a year ago, are actually real and happening. Other things that I didn’t even see or consider have also occurred.
I’m sure my younger sister would feel the same way I do about this since she just graduated from high school a year ago. Watching her grow up and achieve the things she has and to know that I was a part of that is one of the most fulfilling things. She has even made great strides in her life from just a year ago. I really think each graduation propels us into something different from where we were. I still have another before I can walk that stage again, and I sit and wait in anticipation to see where that walk will take me.
Being a Master’s student instead of a PPA student I believe I have a unique perspective. I remember High school graduation not as a milestone that I’d achieved, but rather as a stepping stone for other things. My graduation for my Bachelor’s was the milestone I had been expecting of myself and constantly working towards. It provided a sense of I’m here, I’ve arrived. Until I thought, what now? Those two little words can change a perspective, they were the same thing my Dad had said to me at my High school graduation. We always push ourselves forward towards these attainable and important goals, but how many look to the goal after that or the next? It amazes me when people admit to being scared of change and not wanting things to be different, but isn’t change inevitable? Perhaps I’m too forward looking sometimes, but if so it’s due to a questioning of my life’s direction through two simple words. What now?
Wether you are the individual graduating or a family member supporting the success of a loved one graduation ceremonies are tedious. I have attended the high school and college graduations of my sisters, cousins, and close family friends. These ceremonies served to symbolize movement forward into the world, and its important to remember that it is not the ceremonies themselves that are important, but rather the celebration of the success that has been achieved and the hope that exists for the future.
I attended my first Aggie graduation for my friend last December, and I must agree with you, it was rather boring. However, I did enjoy the turning of the rings at the ceremony because of the symbolism involved. All of this time spent in school has allowed us to grow and prepare us for the world. As we graduate, we realized that we must face the world as Aggies and work to make it a better place for those to come. While we may leave Aggieland, we are always Aggies, and our ring is a reminder of that.
To be honest, I still don’t want to walk at my graduation. My parents keep telling me that I would regret not walking, like they told me I would regret not going to my junior prom (I went and now I regret going). I think, ‘Please mail me my degrees while I am celebrating on a beach in Cabo.’ However, I know my mom and dad would be extremely disappointed if they did not get to see me walk across that stage, thus, one year from now, I will be at my graduation, smiling and waving at my biggest fans. I recognize that my parents see graduation as a symbol – I start of on the right side of the stage as their little girl and travel across to the left side and walk off as their accomplished grown daughter. I respect my parents. I care for my parents. So, I will be taking that symbolic walk to show my appreciation and gratitude for all they have done for me. My parents have set me up for success to the best of their abilities, so I will be ‘walking forward’ to confirm that I am ready to take on the next chapter in my life although with all the joys and challenges it will bring, to say that I am able and equipped to strive for the next goal in my life. For me, the walk will start off on the right side of the stage saying, ‘Thank you mom and dad for your love and support over the years.’ I will end on the left side of the stage saying, ‘Now, I’m ready to take on the world and make you proud with all the tools you have given and taught me.’
This is a topic that has been on my mind for the past month, and I’m so glad you chose to write about it, Dr. Shaub. Even though I am not graduating until next May, many of the friends I’ve made here will be leaving Texas A&M and moving on with their lives after next week. Graduation is such a bittersweet milestone for us. Yes, the ceremony is boring, but it’s a celebration of our success and accomplishments. The end of one chapter of our lives and the beginning of a new one. I think the hardest part is saying goodbye to all the friends we’ve made along the way. I have several casual friends from high school that I haven’t seen since we graduated four years ago, and it’s sad to think that the same will happen with a lot of my college friends as well. We don’t like to think that people who are so important in our lives right now will eventually become only distant memories, but like Dr. Shaub said, that leaves room for us to invest in some great new people. Change is scary and sad sometimes, but it is part of life that we shoud embrace, not fear. This is the time to reflect on what we have learned here and where we would like to go in the future. It’s a fresh start full of new and exciting possibilities.
You’re a great writer Dr. Shaub – I swear I tear up almost every time I read your blog. Miss being your TA, miss seeing you on a daily basis. It’s people like you that make A&M a great place to be.
I have not yet been to an A&M graduation, but I have been to many highschool graduations of siblings, cousins, and friends. What I have seen is that graduation is many things. Many people are happy, and they feel accomplished, victorious, and even slighly relieved to have made it. But other people are often saddened to be leaving the place they are familiar with. It can be a very scary thing to launch into the unknown and find out if you are going to sink or swim. However, it is something everyone has to face someday. While the graduation ceremony itself can indeed be quite boring, what it represents is very exciting and exhilarating. I liked your comment about your son Kenny having a place to always feel loved unconditionally. Knowing my family is always there for me will give me a little more courage when I graduate and start a career.
It’s funny that you mention the need to look back and reconnect with where you came from. In high school I was fortunate to have the same teacher for three years and was able to build a great relationship with her. For the past four years I’ve gone back to my high school to visit with her and talk about how our lives have changed. She has definitely been one of the biggest influences in my education and career choice, so every visit has been a wonderful chance for me to show her how much I’ve appreciated her time and effort to help me get to where I am now.
In terms of Aggies looking back and remembering this place, I am fortunate to be involved with the men’s club volleyball team and the dedicated alumni that come out of this program. Every year when we host alumni weekend the current players are blessed to interact with “legends” within the club. The alumni always remind us of the rich and proud history of Texas A&M men’s volleyball and instill a sense of pride and passion among the current players that has helped us to not only have highly successful teams on the court, but highly successful individuals off the court. One day I will come back as an alum and reconnect with the team and school that I came from.
I have not yet been to a Texas A&M graduation, or any collegiate graduation for that matter. I would imagine that this must be a very moving experience for anyone involved. Given the length of the process, I’m sure that all those involved get to spend some time reflecting on the experiences that led them to this point. For the students, a collegiate graduation represents the culmination of over a decade and a half of education. Reflecting upon this academic adventure must bring about a great sense of pride. Accompanying this pride should be a great sense of duty. Graduates have a duty to represent those who have invested in them with honor. As students leave Texas A&M, they will be faced with countless opportunities to either uphold or deny the great legacy of Texas A&M. I hope that as this year’s graduates move out into the world will remain cognizant of their roots. I hope and expect that they will act in ways that will make us all proud to be a part of the Aggie family.
As a few people have already said, graduation is quite important since it marks the end of one’s college journey (for many at least). Unfortunately, the ceremony is rather dull. I would probably attend the ceremony out of obligation to my family and friends more than anything else. I can already imagine myself walking across the stage a semester from now with a forced smile while counting down the time until I can take off my cap and gown. What really matters is the things I did and memories I have of my years at A&M. The graduation ceremony is just an event to signify the end of it all.
This post has made me look at life just a little bit differently. As you have said, graduation is a way of honoring our accomplishments and a way of ending school, but it is just the beginning of the rest of my life. Many of us will begin our career and maybe even start a family.
This will be another huge transition just like it was was from high school to college. Many of us will be, for the first time, completely on our own. It has come time for many of us to move on, but we will never forget the people that have shaped our lives and the lessons learned in college. We will always look back and reminisce on the good times, and even the bad sometimes, but we must move forward.
In a week I will have attended my first college graduation. Next Saturday I will be in attendance for not only my roommate but for countless friends that I have been in classes with for the past four years. I think it will be a tough experience for me emotionally because if it wasn’t for the one application I turned in to be in PPA, I would be walking across that stage with them.
We prepare for this moment from the day we sign up to take the SAT in high school and to think that the day has come, or will be here in a short year for most of us is crazy to think about. Because of this post I have thought a lot about my life at A&M today. I have been in the process of packing up my apartment to move and picture after picture bring me back to great memories. I also have a pile of books that I need to sell back, but those books have gotten me thinking about my classes and how much we have actually learned in just four short years.
I as well as some of those whom commented above me believe that some professors and teachers underestimate the impact they have on the lives of students. In a class like Acct 230 where there is no possible way the teacher could ever know each student individually it is very hard to make an impact and I had a firm belief that the only teachers who really could or would make an impact we those in small class settings. Well, you have completely wiped out that theory. Dr. Shaub you take the time to learn students’ names, and while that is just one small thing you memorized one weekend, the impact it makes and the feeling it gives students when you address them by name is powerful. I can safely say that you are a teacher that I will remember for the rest of my life for the impact you not only made on my learning but on my character. So for that I thank you!
As so many people move on to the next stage of their life next weekend, it is always good to look back and reflect on the good and bad of our experiences and the people who have affected us. While the ceremony may be dull, it is an important milestone as they move forward in their lives. Texas A&M may be too large to have an intimate ceremony, but, in my eyes, being able to walk across the stage and on the to the next stage of our lives is an important part of our college carer.
I love graduation time (minus the traffic), even if it is not yet my turn to walk across the aisle One of the moments I will always remember is watching my roommate graduate last December. He was the first in his family to ever go to college. His entire extended family came into town, most of which didn’t even have tickets to the ceremony. It was incredible to see how proud they were of Brandon and the affection they showed him for his accomplishments.
Like many of us, we can’t wait for the day when our name is called. That 10 second moment of glory when we walk across the aisle and shake President Loftins hand. I think the excitment we all share is differen’t for each one of us. For Brandon, it was the excitement of showing his parents that he had the ability to succeed. For me, it’s the excitement of the final culmination of all those late night study sessions and the test anxiety that I often felt. Whatever your reason might be, that moment is yours and no one can take that away from you.
Graduation is a very scary and exciting event to me; it represents the end of one journey and the beginning of another. In high school, I grew very accustomed to my lifestyle. When I woke up in the morning, I usually had an idea of what laid ahead. As I walked across the graduation stage, I knew that my world was about to change. At that time I did not know what the future would hold for me, but it was reassuring to see my friends and family in the crowd cheering. In one more year I will be walking across the stage for the last time, and once again I do not know what the public accounting world has in store for me, but as long as I can look in the crowd and see some familiar smiling faces, I will know that I am heading in the right direction.
I’ve only been to one Aggie graduation, my cousins. It was long and boring, but I’m glad I went. My cousin did not want to go. He’s a pretty introverted person and his parents had to force him to go. My sister didn’t want to go to her graduation either. I think sometimes the people who don’t want to go forget that it’s not just a moment for them. It’s for their friends, family, and teachers who have supported them along the way, pushed them to achieve and encouraged them to work hard. I however, am really looking forward to the moment that I can finally walk across the stage and receive my diploma that I’ve worked so hard for. I can’t wait to celebrate my accomplishments with the people who’ve helped me along the way. Graduation is just one more step toward becoming an independent adult, maybe that’s why so many people have mixed emotions about graduating and leaving behind their college years.
Glad to know that you’ll be at my graduation next May, you’re one of the professors that makes A&M and the business school a great place.
I love how you mentioned that it would be sad if your older son did not have a place to return where he was loved unconditionally, but how it would also be sad if he had not moved forward into his life apart from you and your wife. There are days where I wish I would never have to grow up; days that I wish I could go back to kindergarten where my biggest worry in life was what would be in lunchbox for snack that day. But what a great reminder that growth is healthy and to be celebrated! While it’s hard to leave those memories behind and take that scary step forward, there is great joy in knowing that there is a wonderful plan and hope for my future!!
Graduation is a bittersweet moment. It’s a period in our lives where we close one chapter and move on to the next chapter in our lives. For some it could be a career or even graduate school which is exciting to look forward too. However it’s sad to look back and see all that you must leave behind as you proceed through life. Honestly, when I first enrolled as a freshman at Texas A&M University I disliked it. The culture was not what I expected and I didn’t feel accepted. Now as a senior I wouldn’t have changed my decision for the world, this university played a major role in shaping the person I am today. As I look back at all of my experiences and memories good and bad it will be hard to see the people I shared them with part ways in a few weeks. In the end all we can do is cherish those special moment in our lives and move forward for whatever life has in store for us. Graduation is not the end; it’s just the beginning.
Graduations for my immediate family mean a lot. Many of the people in my extended family may not truly understand the significance, but they still understand it is something to be celebrated. I come from a family that was mostly born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States. This situation makes me believe I have a different perspective of what a graduation should mean. Because I came from Mexico and based on the history and statistics of my culture, I should not be in the position that I am in. Most of the people that we know from Mexico do not see the value of education so most do not graduate from high school. They just go to working in menial jobs and start families instead of pursuing an education. Whenever people speak to my dad about his family, they always wonder why we still live at his house, do not yet have a proper job, or why we do not have kids and a family. My dad proudly lets them know that we are in school and he supports the decisions we have made. Those people may not understand what education means, but we surely appreciate what it stands for us. It means that we have done our best with the opportunity that was given to us.
My brother was the first person of our extended family to graduate from an American high school. It was unprecedented up to that point to do that. He was also the first to graduate from College when he received his B.A. from the University of Houston. He then followed that up by getting his Masters in Accountancy from UH last December. My sister will graduate next Friday from UH as well and I will hopefully follow their lead this December when I graduate from Texas A&M. From growing up in Mexico and migrating to the United States to graduating from public universities, my siblings and I will not squander our opportunities. My parents will be proud to say that their 3 oldest children came from nothing and made something of themselves. My dad will be able to tell those people who question him that he has raised three college graduates and those children will be walking forward into the waiting world to make him proud.
Graduations have always been a presitgious event in my opinion. When I attend or hear about someone’s graduation i automatically assume that they are destined for greatness. Now greatness can be defined as many different ways. For example, a high school graduate who skips college to begin working full-time to support his or her young family in my opinion is a very respectable individual. On the other hand, a college graduate who has completed a 5 year master’s program in accounting and has already obtained his or her CPA certification should also be commended. Although no achievement is better than the other, graduation is a sign of self betterment. It symbolizes one’s completion of an important stage in life so one can go on to help oneself and others.
Graduation is the symbolic event that brings your academics to a close as well as springs you off on the next chapter of your life. It is both bittersweet for all parties involved. It is sad for students who realize that it might be a very long time before they get to see their old classmates again, but at the same time it is exciting because they are getting to start their new careers. For the parents it is sad because they have seen their children grow up and now they have reached the end, but they are happy because they are proud to see how their child has developed. For me, graudation is going to be expecially symbolic because I am a third generation Aggie. I will have my grandparents who attended A&M as well as all my aunts and uncles who attended here present at my graduation cheering me on. But no matter who you are graduation is going to mean something special to you and that is what makes the ceremony so profound.
Love this post. Very thought-provoking, especially since with the situation many PPA group 19 students are in right now – having friends who are graduating this year, while we (for the most part) will not be graduating until December or May. I am glad I still have another year to cherish what this university has to offer, has given me, and to give back to it myself. It’s an interesting realization, and while sometimes my thoughts are “I wish I was graduating now,” I am glad I have this last year to reflect on my experiences here. I think that will make them all the more memorable and valuable in the long run, but it will also be bittersweet because all of those I know who will be moving on with their lives – they will be missed, but how exciting it is for them to embark on a new journey.
Despite the proclaimed “boringness” of graduation ceremonies, I think they are very important, especially as an Aggie – almost like a rite of passage. I also think it is important to conduct this event because like you said, it offers a sense of finality in a several-year long process, and also a chance for final reflection and commemoration as a student of Texas A&M. It is nice to know that some faculty embraces the fact that they do have a lasting effect upon their students – we appreciate this investment you have made in our lives, and I think this only encourages the type of behavior you discussed of former student Jessica. I am sure she witnessed the effort you put into your students herself, and realized the impact one can have on another. She is giving back through her church, and making a lasting impression with her efforts, something I think we should all do in our lives because of all that Texas A&M has given us.
Being in a five year program, many of my friends are graduating this year while I have another year at Texas A&M. Part of me is very glad that I am not going off to the “real world” yet as I do not feel ready. But I came to realize, I am not sure anyone truely feels ready, I know my friends do not. But I also know that Texas A&M is a great institution and they will be as prepared as anyone. It is exciting to leave this place and start a life somewhere else. What gives me the most courage is hearing about Jessica, who continues to invest into others. As students at Texas A&M, many people have invested into our lives much more than was required. I believe that we have the responsibility and the wondering oppertunity to do the same for others as we leave here. Good luck to all those that are graduating, go and make the world a better place.
I will be attending my first graduation this year at A&M to watch many of my friends step off the stage and into the real world. It is a bittersweet moment knowing that I will continue pursuing my master’s degree as they move off into their new lives. I have had so many great memories with my close friends at A&M and will cheer them on as they go. For me, I will be moving on in my own way with new friends I have met over the past year which will hopefully develop into lifelong relationships. I am lucky to have one more year to be at such a great school and to make sure that I make the most of every opportunity from now until I take my turn walking across the stage and turning a new page in my life. For now, I look forward to what the coming year has in store for me and what my future beyond that holds.
Most of us are in an interesting place this week.
We have been running forward with our friends for four years expecting to take a leap with them, but this week we will slow to a trot and sit and watch while they jump. There is, no doubt, a mix of emotions at this juncture. If it were time for a leap, I would most certainly jump with everything that I have on Saturday, but that is not our lot. Seeing as our time has not yet come, I am exited to spend one more year getting ready. Hopefully this time allows us a chance to get ready to fly a little higher and a little farther.
Although I will be excited to graduate a year from now, I am certainly glad it is still a year away instead of a week away. Needless to say, I have really enjoyed my time in college. One thing I would still like to do before I exit college is define what success means to me. Obviously, money does not define success for Jessica. I think this is an important realization that takes some longer than others to understand. I think success needs to be something beyond the end that you reach. For many, money is simply an end. Alternatively, I believe that the means, or the path you take, is just as important. Therefore, in order for me to be “successful,” I need to find what path I want to take rather than what end I want to reach.
Like Marcus I feel like I am in a little bit of a weird place this week. My two best friends and roommates of the past four years will be graduating on Saturday. I have known both of them for ten plus years, and it is hard to imagine that they will no longer be around on a daily basis. While I am happy and excited for both of them I can’t help but be a little sad at the same time. I understand it’s their time to take the next step in life, but I always assumed I would be taking that step at the same time. Alas, it was not in the cards; therefore, I will spend the next year enjoying glorious College Station and preparing for my next step.
Reading this blog post was very emotional for me. Graduation is something I have been thinking about nonstop for the past few weeks. Although I will not be graduating until May 2012, I have many friends, including a few of my very best friends, that will be graduating from Texas A&M next week. It makes me sad to see them go, and I feel nostalgic for them that their undergraduate experience is over. However, I am so proud of their accomplishments and am confident in their abilities to go forth and make an impact on the world in their future careers and other endeavors. I truly think that Texas A&M is the best place to go to college because of the way that this school equips students to be selfless leaders. I hope that when my graduation time comes, I feel ready and confident to make a real difference in the world. I know that making a difference comes with character and moral courage — something I strive for on a daily basis and will continue to strive for the rest of my life.
Up until a few weeks ago, graduation from college was just a spot on the horizon, a goal, but not one that could really be touched at any particular point in time. My freshman year, I had the pleasure of singing at the UT convocation ceremony in May, and I remember thinking how far away that day was for me. Now, three years later, that day seems all too close. And yet, we as PPA students are in an austere position. Most of us have made our closest ties to students in our own year, students that will most likely be graduating in a few short days, while we cheer from the bleachers. A part of me envies my friends, as the event marks the end of lectures and tests, and symbolizes their transition into the next phase of life. However, I look to the next year and am filled with relief that I get just a few more months of the college life, of sleeping in, of only moderate amounts of responsibility and of enjoying the friends that I do have left in town. Graduation is something that cannot get here fast enough, but now that it is within reach, it is time to slow down just a tad and savor the last few moments of this phase in my life.
It is evident from the many blog comments that graduation means different things to people. For me, graduations are more than just a ceremony as you enter a new world, its a time when my whole family gets together again. Since all of my family lives at least a few thousand miles away, a graduation in the family brings everyone together for a happy celebration. That’s why I am thankful for graduations. Otherwise, I’m not so sure if I could sit through over three hours of ceremony. Like Dr. Shaub mentioned in his post, the most motivating part of the ceremony is on the Thursday before all of the different college’s graduations, and so the most personally uplifting part is when it actually is personal. Talking with friends and family as they encourage you and give tips and love is the best part of graduating.
Like Maria, I have also been thinking about graduation quite a bit lately. There have been times lately that I’ve asked myself why in the world did I sign up for an extra year of school, but I think it happened for a reason. When I talk to my friends who will be graduating next week, I can tell they are ready. Not just ready to not have tests anymore or to be finished with all the group projects, but they are confident that they are ready to head out into the real world to begin their path to a successful and happy life. So I’ve been asking myself, am I that confident? Am I prepared to go out on my own? Do I know what “successful and happy life” means to me? I’m not sure. Maybe if I had been preparing myself to leave this May then the answer would be yes, but as of now, I’m not ready to leave yet. I still have much to learn and many goals and aspirations to consider. I hope that next year I will feel the same sense of confidence in my future as my fellow classmates and friends feel now.
And Dr. Shaub, thanks for coming to graduation. Having been to one A&M graduation already, I completely agree with you that it can be pretty boring and uneventful. However, I know that having my former teachers come to my graduation would mean quite a bit to me. You guys have taught us a lot and prepared us well for the next step, so graduation is also a celebration and appreciation of your hard work as well. Thanks! Hope we won’t disappoint!
After reading this blog, I really began thinking about graduation and its importance. As you mentioned, graduation is important because it is a rite of passage to so many people. A graduation is not just an end, it is a new beginning. Graduations help people remember the things accomplished in the past, as well as helping people to look forward to the future. At graduation, people will remember the friends they have made, the experiences they have gained, and the honors they have achieved here at A&M (I know I will). Moreover, it is all of these experiences that allow us to move forward and pursue our future endeavors. Lastly, I know certain aspects of graduation will be different for people, however; for all, it is a beginning to an end.
After the boring experience during my high school graduation I would honestly say that I am not looking forward to my college graduation ceremony. I understand that it is supposed to be an important event for me, but the ceremony itself just seems like a bother. However I was reminded at my high school graduation by my parents and other family who attended that it was not really about me celebrating my accomplishment. It was really about the chance for my family and friends to share in a part of my life. It was for my parents, so that they could see the rewards of their raising me. When I approach my college graduation, I will do so remembering that it is an important time for those who are watching me, and not be so concerned with how much fun it actually is.
For me graduation does not seem to hold as much significance to me compared to the day I got my Aggie ring. The moment that I opened that little maroon felt box will be a moment I never forget. When I put it on each morning and I feel the comfort of its weight on my index finger I am constantly reminded of all the hard work it took for me to get to this point. Walking across the stage and shaking the hands of all the professors that help me get there I think is more for our family members, giving them the opportunity to see those who have been influencing there children for the past 4 years. My diploma will hang proudly behind me at my desk, but my Aggie ring will be with me at all times helping to shape first impressions and build relationships that wouldn’t be possible without it.
The educational process of “walking forward” happens every year, but as a student I usually do not put much thought into how my educators view this transition. I should know how much it impacts their lives, because my mom is a teacher and has seen many classes of students come and go. All of my brothers and I are grown and moved away from home, but my mom continues to make a difference in the lives of her students. The world definitely needs people of character, but those people do appear overnight. Those students, who are constantly entering the world, need teachers of character who will guide them. Thanks to all the teachers who care enough to invest in lives. It truly does matter.
It is interesting to read through the previous blogs to see how many people see graduation as a propelling forward and an amazing event as an Aggie to attend. I attended my brother’s graduation from the University of Missouri, and it was rather boring as well, which I am sure all of them are, but it was definitely an event for the family to go and congratulate him on what he has accomplished. I think being a PPA student, and already signed a job offer, graduation couldn’t come any sooner, and it will be exciting for me only because it will be a transition to the next part of my life.
I like the comparison to graduation as cliff diving with little knowledge of what lies below. I am confident A&M has prepared me extremely well for the road ahead, but there is still that small sense of fear that comes with entering the “real world”. However, this fear is manageable due to all the people that have come into my life while at A&M, the professors that go the extra mile, and the lessons I’ve learned. It is because of others investments in our lives that we can walk across the stage confident that we are ready to take on the next challenge. I think attending a graduation serves as a reward for your personal investment in others. I felt that way when my sister graduated high school, and I look forward to that feeling when she graduates again in college. Graduation for the individuals crossing the stage serves as a reflection on the selfless investments others made in their life. While the friends and family in the audience get the satisfaction of seeing their investments pay off through the most symbolic event of the next step, graduation.
I will be the first in my family to graduate from college, so it will be a very special day when I do in August . Like most, I have experienced a few boring graduation ceremonies, but it is important to remember that it is an big day for many involved. I know many of my peers grew up having their family tell them that attending college was expected of them. This was not the case for me, but at a young age I knew that it is what I wanted to do. I had bigger dreams than what was expected of me. I knew all the doors graduating from college would open for me. When I graduate in August, it will be a life goal finally reached.
Your article made me very glad that I still have another year before my own graduation. I don’t feel like I am quite ready to leave this bubble and enter into the real world. But then, I don’t feel like I will be ready next year either. It is a bitter sweet event.
Like many other of my class mates, I was relieved to return to school after completing my internship. I still have so much to learn, but I realize that I will continue learning even after graduation. That is something that just comes with life. And like you said, graduation is to propel us forward. I do feel that by next May, A&M will have prepared me well for the adventure to come!
It is interesting to hear this from a teacher’s perspective, and it gives me a great sense of responsibility. As students, we have a responsibility to make the most of the time and effort our professors and mentors have invested in us throughout our education. I believe graduation is a symbol that it is now time to pay off those investments. Use what we have learned to benefit the world. Jessica is a perfect example that this action isn’t limited to our professional lives either.
I have attended two collegiate graduations, one for University of Houston and another for UTSA. The one for UOH was my older sisters, it was long and tedious but enjoyable at the same time. It was exciting to see that after my sisters years of work she was finally seeing some return on investment. It was closing one door and forcing her to open another, propelling her to achieve something greater. The second ceremony for UTSA was for my girlfriends brother. Given the size of UTSA the ceremony had been broken down over many days so it was a very brief ceremony. The only part that was left was just the reading of students names and them crossing the stage, it took about 30 mins. The two ceremonies were completely different but both offered a clear end to one era and the beginning of another for the students. It was a celebration of accomplishment and launch pad into the future of hopefully much larger accomplishments.
I have one more semester here at A&M and I have never been more excited. I cannot wait to graduate but still wish that I had more time. I fear the real world and what might be waiting for me but crave something new and exciting.
While I do see graduation as very long and boring at times, there is something about it that is special. I also don’t think that professors realize how much of an impact they have on their students, whether it is positive one or a negative one. I can pick out my top 5 professors in my college career and name multiple reasons of why they have, and will continue to have, a lasting impact on me, my future, and my character. One thing that is important to me going forward other than success is to impact the lives of others and be present to my family. The world, and the field of accounting, can bring about great wealth, but if you lose sight of who you are, the relationships you have made, and others who are not as fortunate as us, the wealth is meaningless.
“To whom much is given, much is expected.”
Graduations happen every year, for better and for worse. In my opinion, it is one last time that I get to say good bye to all my colleagues, and my professors. It is almost like a congratulation party, but it does not start until you get to listen from one last person. The graduation helps to remind me that I have accomplished something for the all the effort I spent in these last four years.
What I want is the knowledge that will help me in the future. But that is not all I want. This knowledge does not only come from reading textbooks. It comes from many different ways. It might come from professors, or friends. What I cherished are the friendships, faculties, and tradition. Because what I have learned from here will become a part of me, and a big part of my life.
Dr. Shaub, you noted that graduation is a bittersweet goodbye for professors, and a recognition that they are largely unimportant in students’ future successes. You then went on to discuss your meeting with Jessica, and that you were happy to see her, but heartened in hearing of her ministry work. The point I want to make is not to underestimate your importance in our successes. You may have been speaking of our career and financial successes, but it’s clear that you see Jessica’s true success in her ministry. For me, a professor who truly invests in his students sets an example that I want to follow. That effort inspires us as students to go on and invest in others, which is what Jessica is doing. I know every one of us appreciates the effort you make to remember our names and learn who we are as people. That investment truly does make an impact on a group of students, and it is important to our future successes, especially the important ones.
With many friends graduating this semester, it has brought the realization that graduation is just around the corner for myself. College has flown by, but in a year it will be my time to go out and create my on life. There is a great deal of uncertainty with graduation, yes we may know what we will be doing a few months or a year after we have departed, but we never know what the future will hold for us. For the past 22 or 23 years we have gone to school and always known, for the most part, what the next day entailed. But now leaving what we have known for all these years gives us the opportunity to shape our life and be a service to others and the community.
Lately, I have become acutely aware of the cycle of starts and finishes that you mentioned, of needing someone and then not. I was recently blessed with a little brother and sister. He is seven, she is two, and they are the loves of my life. Almost like a professor, it must be strange for my father to watch his children go and then come again. He has one daughter who can barely walk and another who has left the comforts of childhood, confident in her own abilities. I have watched him have a conversation with me about the recent economy, then turn and talk to my little sister about her Cheerios. I will finish school before she has even started. We truly live in worlds apart, but are bonded by the promises of good things to come. For her, a big girl bed. For me, graduation and a real life salary. I have both good and bad feelings about my next step forward into the real world. But, I am comforted by the thought that even though I will be leaving this place, I am simply making room for next generation to enjoy what I have loved so much.
Graduation is something I have been apprehensive about attending. Knowing that my diploma will be handed to me by a man I do not know, in a ceremony in which my legal name will be used over what I am called has made me question my need to attend. However, after reading this article I realize what graduation is truly about. It is about the process of beginning to turn the page, beginning to start a new chapter in my life. In doing so, graduation allows me the opportunity to reflect on the past that I have been blessed to have here at Texas A&M, as well as thank the teachers and faculty who have made my college experience the wonderful journey it has been. Graduation is not about the moment as much as it is about remembering the moments and showing gratitude for those who made it possible. It is about standing on the stage and taking the challenge that being an Aggie graduate is held to. The challenge to make a change and invest in others lives. I have had people invest over the years and it has made me who I am. Now I get the opportunity to begin to look forward to my opportunity for a new season of life and a new season of blessing.
Graduations are always interesting to me. Usually the graduates are anxious to graduate and move on to whatever awaits them in life. All of them are looking forward to walking across the stage but know how tedious the ceremony will be. And yet, years later I bet we will remember little details about our graduation day. I know I remember my high school graduation and I’m sure I’ll remember my college graduation when i graduate next year. I think years later when we remember our graduation from A&M, it will be a gateway into all of the memories we will take from College Station and our time here. In 10 years, we will hopefully all remember our graduation and remember the special ties that each of us has to Texas A&M.
I agree. I often believe that it is important to visit and see those who have grown up to remind us of the work we do now. I occasionally help watch children at my church for the last few years. I have notice as many of them have moved on to junior high, they have also begun to be active in the church. Seeing this reminds and encourages me to continue to have a small impact in their lives by watching these children.
I also think that graduation is very tedious, but at the same time, it’s an important event in one’s life. I have already seen so many of my friends walk across the stage and start a new chapter in their lives. I can’t wait to finally have my chance to do the same. I imagine that day will be filled with so many mixed emotions of joy and relief that all my hard work has off. I have had such a great time here in Aggieland, and graduation will be the final memory I will add to my Aggie experience.
I can hardly remember my high school graduation. I briefly remember walking across the stage but everything else was a boring blur, and precisely what you described, just a stepping stone propelling us in to the future. College graduation brings much more excitement with it, and a larger sense of achievement. I know the day I receive my degree from Texas A&M will be the most important memory I have to date. I know it will be long and boring but the meaning of the ceremony and the symbolic nature of walking across the stage is something that we all should appreciate. The pride and sense of accomplishment of graduating is an intense feeling, and often disguised by fear and anticipation for the future.
As many of my friends are preparing to graduate next weekend I can’t help but feel a little nervous and anxious for them. What comes after college, no one truly knows, but the memories of the four or five years here in Aggieland give us a sense of comfort and feeling of home as we approach the future. I know I will be sad to leave the place I have called my home for the past five years, but the possibilities of the future bring promise and excitement that only a new chapter in your life can bring. Change is always hard initially, but thinking back to when I was a freshman and comparing myself then to the person I have become today makes it clear to see that change is a crucial part to growing up and growing as a person.
This is an interesting article in light of the MVP trophy being passed to Derrick Rose of the NBA just a few hours ago.
Noted historian and economist Charles Barkley stated that the MVP trophy before the game just puts added pressure on the player during the series. The accolades, the pomp and circumstance are good, but at some point as an athlete, you just want to focus on the game. I think the same can be true for us. While an appreciation of our achievements is necessary, it is important not to be so caught up in the celebration that we miss the gravity of what is coming next.
We have a series to finish. Whether that be years of work, a life of public service, or even more education in the future, our accomplishments cannot stop here. At the end of the day, we should be able to look back on a life well lived and be satisfied with the result, regardless of the praise received along the way.
I still remember the undergraduate ceremony I have attended last year on December in Iowa. I felt moved when I walked across the stage and received all the wishes from instructors who had taught me all along the way. I said thank you to them and I meant sincerely to them that thanked them for teaching me and make me be a woman with decent knowledge.
It is honored to attend Texas A&M University to further study my master’s degree and everything is kind of new to me. At the beginning of the ethics class, I have no clue about what I should learn from the class. After learning a lot of cases and articles, I have realized that there are a lot of open questions for us to explore in the future. I understand that setting this class is to help us avoid the lessons of the middle- or older-aged moral collapse, especially important for the auditor which is such a trustful position.
I want to thank you for your lecture of teaching us precious knowledge. You are a nice teacher and a good listener. I look forward to studying the auditing seminar from you. The class has taught me a lot how to behave as a better person and a better auditor. I will walk forward to finish my master degree and work as an auditor in the future. I will thrive to be an ethical auditor and not repeat the lessons, which I believe that is the aim of the course and what you want to see from us. At last, congratulate to your daughter for the graduation and best wishes to your family!
This was a timely evening for me to read this article, mainly because my roommates and I just spent the last hour talking about something very similar: the time we have shared together, where we are right now, and what is to come. With four and a half weeks until another graduation ceremony, it is hard to live in denial that life will stay this way forever. And what a blessing it is to have enjoyed my college years so much that I wouldn’t want life to be any other way! At the same time, I have to remind myself we are far too easily satisfied. As time passes, things change. People, relationships, experiences, goals, activities.. Nothing stays the same for long. As much as we fight it (you would think we would be used to it by now!), this inevitable change is a good thing, for it propels us into future endeavors, whether seasons of harvest or seasons of drought, that in themselves won’t last for long. “To linger too long regretting our losses is to miss the opportunity to invest our lives again.” This is the perspective I want to maintain in the midst of this change. I will always have more growing to do, and greater things, in their own unique and purposeful way, are yet to come!
Mr. Shaub you mentioned “it is clear to how important it is to plug back in, to recharge, and to remember”. when I about to give up something, I just encourage myself that I should not to because I put my effort on it. we have to always think back and remember stories and experience that we had before to encourage us.
Although graduation ceremonies can be long, especially at a bigger school like Texas A&M, I believe the attendance of family, friends, and professors that have impacted our lives reemphasizes the importance of relationships for our future. Without the support from our mentors, we would not be able to face the real world with values and dignity that we are supposed to display. Professors at Texas A&M like you, Dr. Shaub, make me realize that there is so much more to life than making money and having a good job. Success is not defined by how much money you make; it is defined by how many lives you have positively influenced. As Aggies, you have taught us that we should demonstrate integrity in the workforce even though greed is prevalent. I truly hope that all of us can live up to the values we were taught and change the workforce for the better.
I can’t agree with you any more! It is so sweet to have memory and look backward; meawhile, it is so motivated and powerful to look forward at some point of life. We do need rest, recharge, relax, but all of what we’ve done so far is to prepare us for the new journey. It is hard to say goodbye, but sometimes we have to. I still remember the first time I went abroad, I just couldn’t stop crying at the airport since I knew I was going to live by myself in a totally new country. Everything was unknown to me. However, it was my own decision to come here to study and I never regret to do so! So this is just a life trade-off. When I chose for graduate study, I had to say goodbye to my friends and family in China. The wonderful thing for me was that I could quickly adapt myself to Aggie family and I really enjoy it! All of my experience here would be a valuable and sweet memories and stories in the future. when we want to give up, look backward to think how we struggled to this point and then just move ahead! .
Graduation is a formal ceremony that is a culmination of the academic and more importantly life lessons learned at A&M. The culture of this college is such that more is thought of a little ring of gold rather than the piece of paper recieved at graduation. Identifying and taking pride in yourself as an Aggie denotes that you have bought in an learned the values and character principles that have been ingrained in the students since 1876.
While a degree may hold a prestigious place on an home or office wall, the Aggie ring is a constant reminder of the duty each former student has to our alma mater to uphold the values and name of Texas A&M. It is how we immediately recognize new friends around the world. To most Aggies, the ring is indicative of an honest, good person with similar experiences.
Graduation at such a large university is impersonal by it’s nature. However, the previous four years have been for the most formative and personal years of most students lives.
Graduation is indeed an event that is a milestone in everybody’s life. As they say, it is a time when students are ready to enter the ‘real world.’
As much as it is a celebration for all who have graduated or will graduate, it also brings on us a responsibility that is given to only a few in a society. I remember the excitement I had when I was starting college. I felt like a bird leaving a nest to explore the world. And that I did. It was an overwhelming experience to meet so many great people, learn so many things, make memories that will be cherished forever.
But now that graduation draws closer, it’s time to take an even greater responsibility because the next phase of our life has just begun.
I definitely experienced a mix of emotions at my graduation. I was sad and happy because of what I was leaving behind and excited and scared about what would happen next. I was also really bored because it took so long. It also felt a little impersonal. I had never met most of the people sitting onstage. I liked celebrating with my family more than the actual ceremony. I do remember going to my sister’s graduation, however, and all I felt was a deep pride that my sister had accomplished so much during her four years. I felt like she would go on to do great things. I find great joy in giving her advice and seeing her develop into a wonderful adult.
With graduation approaching in the not so distance future, I think most of are likely to undergo a mix of emotions when departing from our university life and entering the “real world” as people put it. Perhaps some students will be engulfed with a sense of excitement for their new life/experiences while others may feel overwhelmed with anxiety. Whatever emotions us student’s experience during graduation, I’m sure everyone will inevitably reminisce over their college experiences, reflecting on the moments of joy and perhaps even cherishing the moments of pure, unadulterated stupidity.
I am so blessed to attend a university that I am proud of. Even more so, a university that I know will provide me with countless opportunities when our time at A&M is done. I am not graduating this May, but many of my close friends, including my three roommates, will be walking across the stage and into new chapters of their lives. One of the most unique things about A&M is how it not only teaches you how to be successful in your professional life, but also in your personal life. The university instills characteristics in all Aggies that other universities can’t. My entire family attended this University of Texas, and this includes my 89 year old grandmother. My family was mortified that I was going to go to A&M and become “one of those Aggies”. However, they have grown to love A&M as much as I do and are so thankful for all the opportunities the university has given to me. I think for a family of longhorns to love the Aggies says a lot about the place.
The fact that A&M does not have keynote speakers at their graduation does not mean that nothing memorable will be said, but rather that only memorable things will be said. Graduations are a boring experience by design. For hours, an extremely long list of names is read while students march across the stage and receive their diploma without addressing the crowd in any manner. Everyone in the building is bored for almost the ceremony, but friends and family of those graduating still cram in the Reed every year to watch this ritual. They do this for the three seconds where their loved ones name is called. Those three seconds represent an entire collegiate career of hard work. College is a time where someone leaves their home to begin preparing themselves for life as a professional. Graduation presents an opportunity for those close to the graduate to show that even though they left for four years, they will always be family.