First, the very good news: after four years of "hard work," "dedication," and "not screwing around," the History Faculty at the University of Oregon have seen fit to give me a diploma. Actually, they gave me a diploma IOU, with the promise to mail me the real deal in eight to ten weeks. Thus, in the course of a two hour ceremony, I ceased to be David Miller - Student of History and was created Sir David Miller - Right Honorable Bachelor of the Arts Past and Historical. Esquire. Or something. The gown made me feel like a judge. The hat made me feel silly.
One could say a great weight has been lifted, but I don't really see it that way. I never really doubted that I'd walk out of here with my degree in four years, and in many ways "have my degree" translates simply to "don't have to attend or pay for classes anymore." In some respects, my natural paranoia is keeping me from appreciating what I'm sure must be a very momentous occasion; I half expect to be called on some technicality, and have to re-enroll for another term or two to finish a P.E. requirement. If such is the case, I'll be practicing my billiards shot.
What comes next for Sir David? Lacking the handy excuse of ongoing undergraduate studies, I now face a great deal of pressure, both external and (especially) internal to figure out what to do with my life, now that I've got my fancy history degree. I've thought long and hard about it, and I think I have a solid plan.
I'm going to parachute from office towers.
After my third arrest, I'll settle down, marry a supermodel/doctor/librarian/heiress, become a practicing Zoroastrian, write my autobiography (tentative title: Yank the Cord?), and devote my talents to esoteric political causes, oriental cuisine, and modal jazz. I foresee neither difficulties nor complications.
The astute reader will no doubt suspect that I am full of crap. If you should meet him, listen to his counsel, for he is wise.
Anything worth joking about is usually quite serious. The honest truth is that I am dealing with a number of conflicting emotions right now, only some of which are directly related to the transition from college to the "real world." I'm saying goodbye to friends, I'm saying goodbye to a lifestyle, and I'm saying goodbye to a certain degree of stability, one that frankly was never so stable to begin with. Life goes on, never standing still, never budging an inch. Lord knows what anyone's supposed to do with the stuff.
There's so much to look forward to, and so little to be certain of; life is an adventure, in every uplifting, inspiring, and awful sense of the word.