Aye, aye, aye aye, I cannot stop singing.

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.

So don’t.

I’m just shooting for Cinco de Mayo.


About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
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14 Responses to Aye, aye, aye aye, I cannot stop singing.

  1. Whitney says:

    Good for you!! Who cares how long it took the point is you did it. So may 6th we can count on you getting knocked up?

  2. chelsie says:

    What day is your graduation, maybe I can swing a way to get there for it!

  3. Chloe says:

    YAY! I’m so glad for you!
    Who cares how long it took? You did it!!
    Will you post pictures of your graduation??

  4. mameelynn says:

    Good for you!! I completely understand the feeling of not knowing what you will do after.. I am asked what I will do when my little ones are all in school and that to me is a lot like that cacti’s five year plan it is just so far from my real life that I can’t even fathom it. I say who cares how long it took you.. in fact having it taken that long just shows your determination and thats awesome!

  5. irene says:

    look, here’s my story: I finished college in the four years that were stipulated. ok. but then what? nothing. I’ve been missing opportunity after opportunity and here I am. I started a master’s I don’t like last year, my colleagues finish it next month: I will take another year and a half because of the practicum. total sh*t.
    so I started ANOTHER master’s last November, and hey, I like, but I won’t be over with it until December! and then I have to finish the other one. -until June, probably.
    Many of my friends have already had time for two master’s, and they finished both.
    I always have tthe feeling of losing my way, wasting my time… but I will eventually finish what I want. I’m sure.
    so no matter the time, the circumstances are different in everyone’s case. You will finish, graduate and be happy ‘casue you lived other experiences that others didn’t :)

  6. Dutch girl says:

    Hey! I am an EXPERT on this matter: it took me 10 years to finally complete my education. I did three studies, almost finished two and gave up right before the end, but I did finish a third (in 2007) and today I am still proud of myself that I did it! In fact, yesterday I asked my boyfriend to scan my university diplomas and grade lists, and we looked at my Master diploma and we both smiled. He said he was proud of me that I finished and didn’t give up. And that is what it’s all about: you didn’t give up (well, I hope you won’t in the coming months)! Oh, and I don’t know if you have this problem, but all those people who have been bothering you with that horrible, torturous question (“when will you finally get your degree?”) (oh, and of course that other question: “what are you going to do after that?”)… they will shut up. Silence, at last! (My advice: get yourself a cool job (write reviews of tropical resorts or something), so everyone who pitied you because you studied a language will see green with envy!)
    Good luck!!!!!!!

  7. jami says:

    Ugh. I totally understand the people who are not just one or two years younger, but people that weren’t even in high school when I was getting degrees!!!!! It makes me feel retarded. But alas, you are so smart. And have traveled far more than most I know. So that has to count for something. AND I am still a poor schmuck that doesn’t have a degree.

  8. Katie M says:

    Congratdumalations! Only a couple months to go, only a couple months to go… AND THEN you’ll obviously move out of the Frozen Tundra and back to AZ where all the jobs are booming, clearly.

  9. Carmen Lowry says:

    Hey, I haven’t read in your blog in FOREVER!!!! so I will start with a question. Did you ever get residency so you don’t have to pay international tuition?

  10. Maureen says:

    It’s been almost 6 years since I graduated from college, and I still have no idea what I want to do. I keep going back to school to try to figure it out. Congrats on (almost) finishing this step of the process!

  11. anna says:

    Yay! I still remember my last day at ASU… I actually got a little sad. But from what I gather, you and I have/had a different relationship with college. :)

    PS Who cares what you’ll do after, it won’t be registering for another semester of college!!

  12. hip hip hooray! seriously, that’s exciting. congratulations. enjoy your last semester… you may just end up missing college like i do, occasionally. very, very, very occasionally that is.

  13. DeAnna says:

    Good for you! NO way should you feel sheepish, you kept at it, yes it might’ve taken you a long time, but in the end your a better person for it. I have told you before I wish I could go back to college, but I know that will be a while before that happens. Until then I just keep learning everything I can from my job & life in the north. And as for the “plan” after college, who really has a plan that they stick to? I had great plans to continue with my schooling, but those plans changed when moving to another city fell thru & I met my now hubby.

    Best of luck!!

  14. Spencer says:

    So here’s another comment to take some more of your already precious time, but eleven years after high school graduation, I too will finally have that coveted college degree in English. Granted, I took two years for a mission and one before to save for a mission, and I waited several semesters for Arizona residency, and I took a semester to get married, and I got the swine flu so I took the semester off for that, but the point is (forgive this run on sentence which represents my college career) I too have seen friends younger than me go on to and graduate from grad school and here I am without my degree. I was so ashamed that it was a determining factor in not attending my high school ten year reunion. Happy final semester to you.

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