Graduation blues

Sonali Kudva

You know what awaits me as I return to my home country? Certainly the not-so-small task of finding a job, but more close to my heart than that, my friends and family I left behind.

Yet I face that with some amount of trepidation. Why? Because when I returned from school and moved back to the family home the last time, it took me some time to re-adjust to being part of a family again. I had to readjust to not being on my own and living by the rules again. And no, they weren’t the kind of rules I had before I left.

When I left, my friends were upset; they were going to miss me. They were going to write every day, call often, chat a lot and update me on every detail so that I wouldn’t miss a thing. When I returned, they had other lives that I knew nothing about.

Growing apart from old friends and family is never easy. In every sense of the words, long-distance relationships are hard. I had to grow back toward my friends. Some I let go of, and I made several new ones.

In my time away, I had grown up, and it was hard for my parents to reconcile with that, too. They tried, but it must have hurt when I rejected aid offers, did things on my own and stood on my own two feet. But they were proud.

There are reasons why graduations are hard. They’re a symbol that life has changed. They’re a symbol of things ahead that are part of being a grown up. They’re an indication that you’re no longer going to fit in that same mold you used to inhabit before.

When I graduate, a lot of good things await me in my future (I hope), but there will also be a sadness looking back, for these are some of the best days I have had. They were tough — some parts unpleasant — but the camaraderie I shared with people along this road created a bond that separates me from my family and old friends.

Change is good, it keeps us on our toes. Change is the stuff graduations are made of, new beginnings are another. But endings are a small part of graduations, too.

Sonali Kudva is a journalism graduate student and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].