Big Kid Graduation

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Two years out and the world is spinning exponentially quicker than when we walked down the hill.

Those little baby alphas who I taught about Derby Days and showed how to pour a Shark Attack? They’re graduating. They’re moving tassels from one side to another, finishing campaigns, and done with Jewel Degree.

My friends who moved away for Grad School, they’re finishing up and wearing different colored gowns – still Jayhawks at heart.

As i scrolled and swiped through the weekend of graduations, I noticed a difference from the cap-decoration spam last year. There was a shift from those completing their victory lap 5th year, to friends graduating from Law School, Pharmacy School, and Occupational Therapy degrees. My friends are becoming those adults who have post-nominal letters tacked on. They’re turning into Doctors, Lawyers, and contributing members of society. My friends have master’s degrees- MASTER’S.

I’m so proud of all my friends who finished their degrees and accomplished exceeded their goals this weekend. So much of me wishes I could have been there to cheer each of them on. Trying to explain the graduation traditions at KU can be challenging at times, because the pictures never quite do it justice. “The walk down the hill is like the tunnel you ran through after your first-grade soccer games,” I told a friend. Everyone’s cheering you on – not just your own family, but everyone on the way down.

Rest assured that I love bragging on all of you to everyone over here. “My roommate Kay once memorized 200 drug names and uses,” I told my housemates. “Dylan graduated law school at 25. He’s going to make the best lawyer; one with a conscience.” I showed them the picture Kelly took as I walked down the hill arm in arm with my best friends in 2013. It’s my favorite picture from the whole weekend. “Kelly is graduating this weekend too, she’s so talented and has the biggest heart.” I try to keep the ADPi chat to a minimum because my male housemates are probably getting sick of it by now, but I pause at Kathleen & Jackie’s picture “These two are going to run the world one day, heaven help us all.” The list goes on “Lucy already got into KU Med, but she’s deferring for a year to go to Costa Rica because she’s a bad ass.” I point out Subha on my insta-feed as well “Everyone loves Subha- I know this because she has a snapchat score over 180,000.”

We’re in the big-kid world now, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. When I go home next month I’ll be watching not two, but four of my friends walk down the aisle. I’ll be celebrating Drew’s 21st (Godspeed), and visiting friends who I haven’t seen in two years but used to see every single day. We haven’t quite reached that period of christmas newsletters and school reunions, but we’re becoming more and more removed from our little LFK bubble.

So I’m raising a glass to each of you – those walking (or stumbling) down the Hill, those already in the real world and molding future Jayhawks (shout out to the OTown teaches), those finishing up grad school and people who like me are working their way through the first full-time job after “Uni” (see, I’m adapting to my surroundings).You did it! We did it! And none of us could have done it without the others. Rock Chalk my forever Jayhawks.

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