May 14, 2012 5:41 AM
Spring is a time of new beginnings, growth and optimism. It is only fitting, then, that Tulane’s latest crop of graduates is embarking on what some refer to as “the first step of the rest of their lives.” Yep – commencement. For seniors that The Insider talked with on campus, the ceremony itself doesn’t seem to dominate the minds of the finals-focused, soon-to-be graduates, but rather what graduation — and everything after — represents.
A variety of adjectives comes to the minds of these Tulane seniors — scared, nervous, exhilarated, secure, jubilant, afraid, powerful, unplanned, unshackled, uninhibited, but most of all, free. “What does time mean?” asks one newly liberated student. Many others echo this indecision, but ultimately seem to welcome the new opportunity for discovery.
“Up until this point, my life has been structured by school and sectioned off into units that follow a strictly linear trajectory,” one enlightened senior explained to The Insider. “Once I’m done, I can literally go anywhere and do anything, even if that’s nothing.
"I’ve never not known what it is that I’ll do next, but now instead of desperately trying to push my life into the next routine, I’m looking forward to opening it up to new possibilities.”
Some candidates for graduation that I talked with still recall the feeling they had when they first entered Tulane: new, nerve-wracking and excited. While some have plans to work or continue school, and some are still working to figure out what comes next.
Ready or not, these prospective graduates are taking a deep breath and plunging head-on into the unknown. The world is ready to be explored. As most will agree, it’s time. On your marks, get set, GO!
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