I’m graduating today🎓
I am the kind of person who mostly lives in the present with a little bit of anticipation for the future.
That said, I occasionally look back into the past because that gives me a sense of accomplishment with regard to how much I have grown as an individual and helps me understand the nature of change that is constant in life. I never experienced what it feels like to stay away from home but there It was on 07/09/13, ten years ago, with my bags packed with loads and loads of clothes to spent the next four years of my life in a remote university . My parents had a tough time coping with separation but I was surprisingly strong and was actually looking forward to the whole new experience.
Hostel life teaches you a lot about life. It teaches you how to begin conversations with strangers, how to organize your time, how to make your body resiliant to crappy food and many other valuable lessons.
I remember I always maintained a comfort zone of at least 3 ft radius around me. It is a miracle how I managed to stay in a room with six people in my first year of degree.
One of the most beautiful lessons that I learnt from hostel life is how an awkward and troublesome phase of overwhelming change always precedes a happy state of equillibrium. In the first few days, we students religiously lock up our cupboards to protect our belongings. I feel the lock and cupboard greatly symbolizes the door to our own hearts that we deliberately choose to keep locked to protect our personality from being exposed to strangers. But as time passes by, all the closed doors and windows open and there is free exchange of thoughts, ideas and expressions between all of us and that really marks the phase when strangers begin to become friends for life.
Today, I’m graduating with a bachelor’s degree from one of the nation’s top colleges, debt-free. I don’t have a criminal record. I’ve never had drug problems. No sup. I’m stable. I have hope.
I stand here with the knowledge that my present condition is the culmination of years of compassion and kindness and trust given to me by so many, far too many to name here. And it cannot be understated how much my unearned privilege as a black male in this society is a contributing factor.
Thank you to those who have gotten me to this point, and to everyone, I only request that if you offer congratulations, take some time to consider those who are just as deserving of our compassion and guidance but never had my fortune and privilege to receive it.