In many ways, graduation was a disaster. Walking across the stage through a tornado warning on May 22, 2011 to retrieve my empty diploma holder was ridiculously anti-climactic, the speaker was horrendous, and every picture from that day features the bags under my eyes left over from
senior finals week.
But when I think about graduation, I don’t think about those things. Instead, I remember walking away from my seat and across the track through a tunnel of faculty members, and I remember thinking that this wasn’t so much a finale as it was the most genuine send-off Luther could have given us. I think about saying thank you to my professors, taking pictures with my friends and the bell, and I think about sitting in my car crying at the stop sign in front of Koren after I checked out of my room. Driving away from campus felt so surreal–what now?
I loved Luther, and leaving was terrifying. But now, two years later, I wouldn’t go back for anything. Instead, I am thankful every day for four years in the Oneota Valley that made me question much of what I knew, introduced me to failure, made me work harder than ever before, and where I started to learn about who I wanted to be.