COLUMN: Embrace convocation and celebrate your successes

31,992 hours, 1,333 days, four years.

It all comes down to one day: convocation.

It’s when your Brock University student days end, but also when the most fulfilling day begins.

Cate Talaue met astronaut Roberta Bodnar during her spring convocation in 2015.

Cate Talaue met astronaut Roberta Bodnar during her spring convocation in 2015.

It’s when you remember about the times you thought you wouldn’t make it, back when those paper deadlines and final exams seemed like the be all and end all.

It’s when you reminisce about how far you’ve come, because that piece of paper with your name and degree fancily scrawled across it – that paper you often thought was so out of reach – is finally clutched in your hands as you proudly walk across the stage.

It’s your convocation, and it’s finally time to celebrate.

Out of all the weeks in a school year, convocation week is the most magical time of the year. It’s like a Hollywood premiere and you’re the VIP.

You’re front and centre, walking down the red carpet in the Ian Beddis gymnasium, dressed in flowing gowns that make you feel like royalty. After all, the day is about you and all you’ve accomplished over the years.

I was on cloud nine when I graduated last Spring. After the exclusive awards banquet, faculty breakfast and meeting astronaut Roberta Bondar, just hours before I crossed that stage, I decided to embrace my successes.

There was excitement in the air and smiles on every graduate’s face. With hooting and hollering building up to the grand finale when I was on that stage, standing in front of hundreds of people, I took it all in and realized, “I did it!”

The magic continued even after the ceremony, when I reunited with friends and family who were so proud of me, more than I may ever know. I started to think to myself, “I can’t believe it’s over,” as I left this part of my journey behind and started a new one, proudly rejoicing that I am now a Brock University alum.

As I considered my path to graduation, degree in hand, sash and Spirit of Brock medal sitting comfortably around my neck as if it were always there, I knew that despite the obstacles, the tears I shed and the things I left behind, it was all worth it. That’s the most satisfying feeling.

Congratulations class of 2016. Enjoy it. You earned it.

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