It's funny how graduating will get certain songs stuck in my head, No, I'm not talking about that Vitamin C 90's hit, although I am a shameless fan of Semisonic's one hit wonder, Closing Time. When I left college I got all weepy to the ballad "For Good" from Wicked, but this time around the mental soundtrack has been a little more random. Here are some songs helping me make the transition to the "real world."
"Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas
Let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder.
Don't you know the hardest part is over?...
Our lives are made in these small hours,
These little wonders,
These twists and turns of fate."
I think I cried for some reason every day last week, and one of those times was when this song came on Pandora when I was sorting photos for a professor's graduation slideshow. Let me tell you, with each note and click of the mouse, I was this much closer to bawling. It's the everyday conversations, book recommendations, car trips, and goofy smiles that built my relationships in grad school. Knowing my classmates by their mannerisms and the color of their tote bags is one thing I'll miss the most. Luckily, we've taken hundreds of photos that each capture a moment of the 24 months that have changed our lives forever.
The lyrics are reassuring too, especially when you have no idea where your life is headed next. Good old Divine Providence got me into this M.A. program, so I shouldn't think God is gonna quit on me now.
"The Last Time" - Blind Boys of Alabama
This may be the last time, I don't know.
As I leave my museum alma mater, there are so many uncertainties - is this the last time I will see some of these people? Is this the last time I'll pas a professor in the hallway? Will I ever roam around the halls of the collections again? I intend to delay my last drive around the grounds as long as possible.
"You Got the Love" - Florence and the Machine
(previously recorded by Candi Staton, The Source, and Joss Stone)
Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you
Sometimes I feel like saying Lord, I just don't care
But you've got the love I need to see me through
If anything can make you want to throw up your hands and yell, "Jesus take the wheel," it's grad school.
The entire process can seem designed to make you doubt yourself and question your purpose in life. My degree is as much a testament to my support system as it is to my book learnin'. From my professors who always kept their doors open, to the classmates happy to vent in the library at 11pm, to the family and friends who have humored two years of geeking out over furniture, to The Beau who has stayed up past his bedtime helping me edit presentations, there's been an army of people I could count on. Sometimes it's been hard to keep caring, but in the end, I'm humbled and grateful to be surrounded by such love.