That is how many days I have waited, looked forward to, and thought yesterday would never come. I still clearly remember my very first day of school. I entered the 1st grade at Riemerling Grundschule in the outskirts of Munich, Germany on September 11th, 1990 at the ripe young age of 6 years old. Every single day for 6122 days between now and yesterday, I looked forward to that day, in which I could finally say I am done. 6122 days of dreading the grueling torture that is school.
I have struggled through math class, learned to write perfect handwriting with an ink fountain pen, learned, forgot, and re-learned the rules of grammar in English and mastered the German language, as well as gained a solid grasp on the basics and fundamentals of the Russian language, made and lost many good friends, moved many times and attended 8 different schools between 1st and 12th grade, attended college for 6 years, at two separate colleges through 5 different majors, accumulated over 300 college credits and finally, finally walked across the stage yesterday as a diploma was handed to me in front of my father, mother, stepfather, uncle, grandmother, some very close friends, and most importantly, my girlfriend, Karen, who has conquered my heart. Indeed yesterday can count to one of the greatest days of my life. No longer will I be dreading class tomorrow or the essay due next week. I have finally achieved a status in my life that I have been longing for for 6122 days. What comes next?
Tomorrow morning I will leave what has been my home for the past 11 years and embrace what has been my home for many years before that. I will be flying into Munich after a long flight and jump right into work. I am overwhelmed with sadness and joy at the same time. Joy for finally finishing something of significance in my life. Joy for going back to my favorite place on earth, for getting to see my little sister, and my brother and some close friends. Sadness for leaving behind my mom and some other close friends, and most importantly, my girlfriend, with whom I have fallen in love with.
It has definitely been an adventure, and for the first time in 6122 days I feel that I am truly free and the world is just another adventure waiting to be explored. There is nothing holding me back from pursuing my dreams and my future. I have succeeded. I have graduated. I am done. I am now Alumni. However, if the University thinks I am going to join their Alumni Association and give them even more money, they are definitely mistaken. I am already in the possession of the most expensive piece of paper I have ever seen, I don’t need another. 😉