It has been three weeks since I came to school without seeing those familiar faces. I miss my older friends a lot, and I would love to share my experience during commencement week back in May.
This May, two of my friends graduated from Illinois and continued their study in graduate schools. It was my first time attending a commencement, and I really had a lot of feelings.
The speech by Mr. Huber, called “Find a Better Way,” was great, but I found the student speech during Sociology convocation especially impressive. Every friend of mine knows that my dream majors are majors like English Literature because I love reading and writing. In her speech “Light It Up,” Sana Singh showed her love of Sociology and why she thought it was a great major—because it studies the operation of the whole society and is just as important as the majors north of Green Street (College of Engineering) and south of Gregory Street (College of Business). She considers the knowledge she learned in Sociology things that light her up, which might be the same feeling shared by other students at the convocation. Her touching speech made me cry a little bit because I did not choose to learn things I truly love. However, I am grateful that I still have the habit to read and passion to write.
Presentation and hooding of different degrees’ candidates were sweet as well. After years of studying, students got what they deserved and everyone wished them bright futures. It’s hard to imagine myself at commencement two years later, and the only thing I hope is that I will not regret every effort I made at Illinois.
Before and after the commencement, I took a lot of photos with my friends. We designed quite a lot different poses and I really cherish this moment. On the Quad, near “Grainger Bob,” under that oak tree, inside Armory 101 (which we had a weekly club meeting) … and of course we had to take a picture in front of Alma Mater. Even though there was a quite long line before her, we still waited for about an hour to get that picture. During commencement week, Alma Mater also wore blue academic robes.
We are all from different areas of China and couldn’t see each other too often. During commencement week, I got to meet my friends’ parents and have dinner with them. It’s just lovely to hear their funny stories from childhood and dreams about future.
I wish all my friends a great and bright future. I will miss you guys. Please come and visit during breaks!
(Photo taken by Mengqiao Guo; Person in Photo: Xialingzi Jin)