The Relunctant Graduate


I graduate tomorrow.

Nothing is done. I haven’t picked up my hat and gown, nor did I participate in the search for the perfect grad dress. I skimmed through the convocation ceremony emails and promptly deleted them. I haven’t sent out notes to family members and friends declaring my entrance into the adult world. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m just not that interested in graduation.

I feel like a fraud. I didn’t work hard to get into university, I didn’t have to pay for tuition or books, and when it came to classes I hardly went. I coasted through my degree the same way that I have every other responsibility in my life and I’m not particularly proud of it. Yes, so I finally settled on a double major of English and Sociology but that was mostly because I couldn’t stomach going back for yet another year of my undergrad, and I could easily satisfy the degree requirements. Key word being “easily”.

My mother wants to give me my diploma on the stage. She can do this because she is a professor at my university. She will probably hug me and cry and I will look out into the audience bewildered. How did I get here? What have I done with my time?

I feel like a fraud, because I am. I don’t deserve to walk across that stage like everyone else. I put my time in and I did the work, but I wasn’t there. I wasn’t present, living it the way the others were. The students who threw themselves into campus culture and life. The students who got to know their profs and truly loved the material they taught. I don’t deserve the opportunities I have been given.

If I could do it all over. I would be better, this time.

Bon Iver – The Wolves (Act I and II)


19 Comments Add yours

  1. Joseph says:

    Your writing style is very unique and engaging. I really enjoy reading some of your material. Keep it up!

    Btw, I just stumbled and
    submitted your blog to
    . Hope it brings you a lot of new readers!

    1. Lindsay says:

      Thank you!

      and more thank yous!

  2. Eric says:

    I didn’t invest myself fully in school–never have. I’d have been valedictorian in high school, summa cum laude in college, maybe. But I didn’t give it my all, and I’ve never regretted that. A person has only so much will to spend and a life requires more than the sum of that will. If I’d gone full stop some other portion of my life would have suffered. I wouldn’t have worked, wouldn’t have lounged, maybe would have stifled my creative side. Which is better to have? And whether you ended up with a bad experience or not, it’s experience, and maybe it will pan out later. What you’ve weathered will prepare you for something else.

    Liked the song. And your Twitter made me sad.

    1. Lindsay says:

      Twitter is unreliable, I don’t know what you are talking about. Cough.

      I see what you are saying. I don’t think that I invested any more in any other part of my life though, at the expense of school. Rather, I am just a lazy asshole.

      Despite my downers, I am very much committed to living life in the moment and to the fullest. Don’t you worry about me.

  3. This is 100% exactly how I felt when I graduated from college. And I absolutely love that song.

    1. Lindsay says:

      I know right? I’m really glad that I’m not the only one, I really was beginning to think that I was…

  4. Scribbler says:

    Maybe you can take solace in the fact that nobody screwed up their college years as badly as I did. Seriously, you don’t even want to know. Whatever college is supposed to be, it wasn’t for me. Nothing in life is. I blame the movies.

    1. Lindsay says:

      That’s a lie, I totally want to know. Live up to your over-share reputation and… over share. Do it.

      BTW you are wrong about the movies. The movies never lie; life lies.

      1. Scribbler says:

        I wouldn’t want to deprive you of the mystery.

        “The movies never lie; life lies.”

        I’m going to plagiarize that πŸ˜‰

        1. Lindsay says:

          Well. If you make money off it someday, I’ll come a knockin’. Don’t think I won’t!

          1. Scribbler says:

            Then I’ll have to be sure to make money off it.

  5. WeThePeople says:

    thanks! your blog is lovely as well. i graduate in three weeks. i wish i could say i felt like my college career were something to be proud of.

    1. Lindsay says:

      I’m beginning to think this is a common feeling…

  6. Mr. Apron says:

    Well, even though you may be an irrepressible slackass, you still probably deserve to walk across that stage more than half your classmates, just judging on your writing prowess alone. Don’t forget to fist-bump your mom and flash gang signs at the college president after receiving your diploma.

    Oh, and don’t go to grad school. It’s very expensive and, afterwards, you may very well still be a reluctant graduate. And a blogger.

    1. Lindsay says:

      Haha I lamed out and only gave her a hug and also allowed the president to do something really creepy which involved holding a hat a couple inches above my head and mumbling to me in Latin while i was on my knees in front of him… yeah I suspect I should have been paid for that, too.

      Well, I’m glad that I have redeemable qualities in amongst the slackassedness and laziness.

      Grad school is lame. I refuse to lame myself out anymore than I already have… for now…

  7. Tellie says:

    I’m finishing college next year and I feel the same exact way, strangely enough. I have a 4.0 GPA, but it isn’t fair. I don’t try hard things just come easier to me than to most. I don’t go to class, I’m incredibly lazy, and studying is a rarity.

    1. Lindsay says:

      You are incredibly lucky, I don’t know many people that can carry a 4.0 without trying at least a little.

      It’s terrible, though, to feel like you don’t deserve the grades you get.
      I guess it’s better than putting all the effort in and failing, though.

  8. Ashley says:

    When it comes to graduating University, I have “what if’s” as well. I have regrets; I should have pushed myself harder, I should have entered my art into competitions, fuck – I should have applied for scholarships instead of being left with over $20,000 in student debt. I didn’t and now I’m in the “working world” with the many others.
    Don’t for once think that you don’t deserve to be where you are. You’re incredibly intelligent and I think University helped to fuel your love for writing and reading. You definitely learned things and perhaps it wasn’t challenging enough for you. Lindsay you become so engulfed in literature, a characteristic that I’m envious of, and I love reading your thoughts. You can communicate effectively and not everyone can. You absolutely deserve those letters behind your name – YOU are the one that accomplished that.

    Unless your mom broke into your prof’s marks and fudged them all for you πŸ˜›

    1. Lindsay says:

      Damn you found me out!

      No, really, thanks a lot. It’s good to hear that from someone who knows me so well. Definitely true, I’ve always been a lover of books, but university made me a lover of literature. I guess the terrible part is that I feel like I could be in the same place if I had just read a lot for 4 years. I feel like the classes weren’t really necessary. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just because I’m in liberal arts and it is hard to see the end to the means.

      You really SHOULD have done those things, taken risks for your art, because you are incredibly talented. I’ll be coming to you if I ever need illustrations, that’s for sure.


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