Tomorrow I begin the last semester of my university career.
It is a surreal feeling, to be sure, but not, I suspect, as surreal as the feeling I’ll have when I walk off the campus at the end of my last class of the semester—the last class of my life.
To say that I am looking forward to that day would be idiotic. It would be like saying a cactus is looking forward to the rainstorm.
Euphoric as I will be five months from now, I must admit I will also feel a little sheepish.
Graduation has been a long time coming. I completed high school in May of 2004. Seven years later, it looks like I will finally be graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in English. I have friends who graduated from high school after me and already have two degrees. I struggle daily with feelings of mediocrity in light of this fact. Even my usual technique of thinking about all the poor saps worse off than me who haven’t graduated yet doesn’t really help. My failures are my own, and, at least in this situation, other people’s greater failures provide no comfort to my wounded pride.
But then, what’s the point of feeling sorry for myself? Yes, I took seven years to graduate from college. Yes, I once flunked—completely failed—a freshman computer course and lost my scholarship to ASU. Yes, I transferred to so many colleges and universities that after a while my classes just stopped being accepted. Yes, I took English 101 and 102 from ASU and still had to take entry-level remedial English at my new university because of bureaucracy’s ever-present caveats. Yes, for several semesters I only took three classes at a time because tuition was so expensive for an American citizen living in Canada that I couldn’t swallow any more than that.
It will be seven years almost to the day by the time I will have graduated from my post-secondary institution.
But I will have graduated.
And I suppose that’s the point.
Just please, please, if you have any inkling of charitable feelings of goodwill toward me in the slightest, even if you mostly don’t like me but can on the rare occasion tolerate me—please don’t ask me what I’m doing after graduation.
It would be like asking a cactus about its long-term goals or its five year plan—a pointless venture because everybody knows that cacti don’t have five year plans beyond simply standing there with both arms raised as though waving a double-handed goodbye to all the poor schmucks driving away from the barren desert to move to an even more desolate place comprised mainly of snow and ice.
It would be fruitless is what I’m saying.
I’m just shooting for Cinco de Mayo.