A college degree never feels like more of a scam than on the day of graduation.
This thought runs through my head as I sit on the plastic folding chair, dressed head to toe in garb I’ll never wear again.
I look back at my mom. Tears are forming in her eyes and she preemptively wipes her face.
I’ve turned cynical during my four years here. Thanks to the professors who taught me that I don’t really know anything for sure.
Am I the product right now?
Is this what the thousands of dollars my mom paid are going towards? To watch me walk across the stage?
I never felt like college was a scam while I was in it. And I don’t know this now, but after this day, I’ll always look back on it fondly and gratefully.
But, right now, as a large man with a booming voice gives a speech about the seven keys for success in life, I wince.
Before we marched in for the ceremony, I was at the urinal taking a leak. One of my fellow classmates who was relieving himself as well looked over at me and said, “In a couple hours, we’ll just be unemployed.”
As I walk across the stage and accept my diploma, I don’t feel anything at all.
After the ceremony, all my underclassmen friends are asking how I feel while we eat vanilla cake and drink watered down lemonade.
I smile and say something about feeling accomplished or relieved.
But, to my mom later on, I confess that I feel like I’ve just been dropped off a cliff. Maybe there’s somewhere to go, but my whole life for the last four years has just been pulled out from under me.
Hopefully, the landing is soft.