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  • This degree, in the beautiful blue book with the university seal emblazoned on the front, is not the sole representation, culmination, or take away of my college experience. The degree is such a small thing. You can hold it in one hand, read its words in 30 seconds, appreciate its elegance in minutes more.

    An interjection: As I write this I tear up - seriously!

    The representation of my college experience lies with the people, the mistakes (oh the mistakes!), the growth and beauty and struggles and triumphs and joys and little fun memories. I cannot describe the extent of the benefits of living near 3700 near-aged individuals all seeking some kind of expansive experience. I cannot describe the difficulties of discovering and rediscovering myself and others through tons of small interactions and the aforementioned mistakes. Though indescribable in whole, I could list off a few case studies of the aforementioned large mistakes. The knowledge-gaining often happened outside of the classroom: with women I have loved; with women I have liked; with dear friends I have opened my thoughts, mind, heart and soul to (some of those friends graduated today, and others were wonderful enough to be there to support me today); the late night conversations; the coffee and tea connections; the struggle on the Ultimate (frisbee) field; and, of course, in the beautiful days on the quad.

    I feel profoundly changed.

    Profoundly!

    Our commencement speaker, a certain Dr. Dwight Mullen, said "Your time matters" and then "I don't just say that you can make a difference. I say that you must." Such words!

    The significance of kind words, humor, and an embrace on a long day following a longer night filled with assignments - not sleep - becomes monumental.

    I know that these memories will fade - they already have. But I treasure these four+ years above anything.
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