Today I graduated, with honors. I have a Bachelor’s degree now. It should feel like I’ve accomplished something, like I’ve reached some sort of significant demarcation mark. I thought that when I have the actual diploma in my hands, I’d feel something, and yet I don’t think I do. It feels like I only finished Junior High, which in a sense, it is. I mean, the only bigger bit of excitement I felt today was when I filled out my preference list in my grad school application – I’ve not stopped to take a longer break, because really, there isn’t much occasion for that, in my mind. I don’t want to really stop until I reach what I’m aiming at.
A friend told me that this strange feeling of no accomplishment is probably due to me setting my goals too high. I guess, she’s right. I’ve never really considered Bachelor’s degree a goal. I mean, sure, I need it, but only because it’s on the way to becoming a scientist. However, it does feel good to be reassured that I’m on the right track, that, step by step, I can do this science thing.
I find it a bit strange when graduating people talk about how they’re unsure of what to do next or how they don’t know what job they should do, and I feel no doubt. For as long as I remember, I’ve always wanted to be a scientist. Sure, there were a lot of other things, too, but science was one thing that never changed since I was in fifth grade and I wanted to be an archaeologist (and travel to Australia to prove once and for all why dinosaurs really disappeared – and I understand now that the correct term for that would be palaeontologist, but, hey, I was just a fifth-grader then). After that, my subject of choice would change from time to time, until, as I was graduating High School, it had settled on something new-technologies-in-biomedical-research-related, which coincidentally is what I’m working on already. It feels a little … bizarre. I mean, I’m actually doing what I’ve been dreaming of doing for such a long time. That does feel like an accomplishment.
Thinking that there actually was a reason to celebrate today,
P.S. Now, I remember that after the first year, I was seriously considering quitting and starting over with some other subject of studies. Man, am I glad I didn’t!