To Be a Graduate

To Be a Graduate

The world is opening its doors and I stand there, shoved by a tough gust of wind, ready to brace for impact.

I stand frozen, my cap sliding down the back of my head, as the tear in my gown grows along my arm. My forehead sweats and my knees tremble - I am unprepared, I am not ready.

I don’t know what I want from the world. I don’t know what the world expects from me, and I am not entirely sure what I even have to offer.  

Yet here I stand with a smile on my face. Staring up at the road ahead, I let my cap fall behind me. Attempting to seal this chapter, I let my heart pound for the next.

However, my excitement is balanced by sadness, by a sense of longing. I long for what is to come, and for the comfort I have already found. The comfort, which I find in the people who have made these years and this place worth missing.

What we have right now, where we are right now cannot be replicated. The fortune I have found here is something I could not possibly be ready to give up. Yet, if this experience was repeatable, it wouldn’t be half as memorable. Thus, it provides this bittersweetness, the balance between triumph and tragedy, where we find ourselves grateful for what was, what is, and what will be.

My fondest memories are the product of great companions, my toughest ones experienced in the same compassionate company. Our Jacobian family is never faltering, constantly caring, and incomparable to other community constellations.

So, if you ask me how graduation feels, if you ask me what it is like to leave my Jacobian family, I will be quite blunt in my response: I don’t feel ready to. Within these three years, I have been able to create a lifetime of memories, I have built a forever family, and I have come into my own. While I am technically ready to graduate, to let my cap fall, to take my next steps forward, I do this with a heavy heart, one weighed down by love and friendship.

Eleanor Cwik, the author of this essay, giving her graduation speech to the Undergraduate Class of 2022, alongside Wyatt Peoples.

My feeling of unpreparedness is not representative of my naivety or immaturity, but rather my admiration for the community that has supported me through the tumultuous time that is young adulthood.

However, my right foot guides me, leaving my cap in its dust, as it attempts the first move. My left foot fights this movement, but as we all know- an object in motion stays in motion. Jacobs wound my clockwork motor, my peers helped me to ignite it, and now all that’s left for me to do…is to let go. And to keep moving forward…and this I will do, but not without looking back fondly at the places, the people, and the path I have already been so lucky to experience.

BY Eleanor cwik (USA) | CLASS OF 2022

To Be a Graduate