Today was my last day at university. I presented my master’s thesis and all went well. So I guess this means I’m graduated now.
I know I should be feeling happy or feel like I accomplished something, but actually I don’t feel anything like that. I do realize I learned a lot over the past 5 years. I even got the chance to live in Portugal for half a year and met some great people. For that I definitely feel grateful. But the word graduated just doesn’t seem right.
Graduated from what? From learning? I’ve never read this much in my life, I’m just not getting tested afterwards – at least not by taking exams. So for me that won’t be it.
If anything, I think it’s the absolute opposite. I feel as if I’m just getting started, as if I know nothing at all and have to work my ass off everyday to stay on track.
So yeah, I’ll eat the cake. I’ll feel grateful for the past couple of years, but I won’t let this affect my attitude towards learning. I’m still nowhere near where I want to be. If graduating was finishing the sprint, I feel as if I’m just placing my feet in the starting blocks – not set firmly even, still twisting and turning.
On how to react towards credentials (or basically anything on which we glue a name nowadays), I’ll go with Marcus Aurelius for now:
“Like seeing roasted meat and other dishes in front of you and suddenly realizing: This is a dead fish. A dead bird. A dead pig. Perceptions like that – latching onto things and piercing through them, so we see what they really are. That’s what we need to do all the time – all through our lives when things lay claim to our trust – to lay them bare and see how pointless they are, to strip away the legend that encrusts them.”