May 15th, 2004 – Messiah College graduation

Graduation walk

Has it really been a decade? Ten years? Ten years ago today, I was wearing a black robe, sweating in the hot sun. A long line of us, all dressed in black robes, walked along the sidewalk that I had walked on almost every day for the past four years. We sang Under the Sea and other Disney songs as we walked. We marched across the covered bridge, onto the soccer field, and filed into rows of plastic chairs. Soon most of us had our robes open and our top shirt buttons undone to try and escape the heat. Black robes don’t mix well with the somewhat muggy south central Pennsylvania summer weather.

President Sawatsky was at our graduation, and handed out diplomas. He had been very sick, but wanted to be there for us. He retired a month later and passed away that November. He was the most beloved president Messiah had.

I pulled up the top Billboard songs for 2004, and memories flooded in. Roses by OutKast. Sean Paul songs. Linkin Park and Evanescence. The US was in Iraq and Afghanistan. The economy was on the downturn. And I was just trying to find a job and stay in PA, where my girlfriend Heather was.

I’d like to say, ten years later, that I am where I thought I’d be. I’d like to say my grand life plan has succeeded, or something else deep and poetic. But I never had a plan. I’m only starting to figure out what I want to do with my life, ten years later. The past decade has been filled with weddings, births, and deaths. The past decade has been nothing like what I expected. But I still remember May 15th. So many feelings swirled that day: relief at finally getting out of school, optimism for the future, and a tinge of sadness at leaving the incredibly social and comfortable cocoon that was college.

I am so greatful for all of the friends I still have, ten years later. I am lucky to have kept in touch with so many great people. I don’t know what the next ten years has in store for us, but I know one thing for sure

Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin’ for?