Graduation yesterday was so amazing. After 7 years and a really rough last year it was amazing to have a day of celebration. It was amazing to have my family and friends there to support me. It was amazing to close that chapter of my life and look forward to what lies ahead.
That is a lot of what graduation ceremonies are all about. They are a conclusion on one chapter of your life, and an introduction to the next chapter. At the graduation ceremony we had several speakers, all who did an excellent job in their own right. As someone who speaks at a graduation ceremony for my middle school students every year, I know how challenging it is to say something that is relevant and meaningful. I always hope that with several speakers, each person there can take something from one of the speeches.
It was kind of ironic then, how after graduation yesterday a few of my friends commented to me on something they found moving about from the ceremony and each comment was from a different speaker. So, I guess the speakers did their job.
One of the constant threads of each of the speeches was how we did not make it to graduation alone. Each one of us had help. Each one of us had challenges. Each one of us had life to deal with. And each one of us persevered and graduated.
So to each graduate there yesterday and all those graduating during this graduation season, congratulations for persevering.
Perseverance is definitely something that I learned throughout the process of completing my Ph.D. I can now understand how so many people do the course work and not complete the dissertation. It is commonly called ABD – All But Dissertation.
The coursework was hard, especially going back after many years of not doing course work and having classes three nights a week, having a full time job, and raising two incredible boys, mainly on my own. But the writing of the dissertation, whoa, that’s hard work. And it requires a great deal of perseverance.
It’s about setting goals, prioritizing what gets done when, and making time for research, reading, writing and revising over and over again. I’ve heard of something called post-dissertation depression. I can understand it, don’t think I will be faced with that, but it is interesting think about what I will do differently now. My job won’t change. Many aspects of my life won’t change. But I have changed. So how do I use this chapter that I’m closing of my life, to help me write the introduction to the next part of my life.