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Saturday, September 10, 2005

"..The One with Convocation, and being proud of yourself.."

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Sometimes when I gaze back upon the pictures of my labmates back in Gwangju I just can’t help but be struck by this amazing warm feeling…I miss them all so much.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be graduating along with my humble colleagues; we’ve come a long way guys – be proud of where we are now. In the midst of all the preparations and enthusiasm of walking down the convocation halls I stop and think back of the true meaning of convocation. The real predicament rarely seen and often forgotten by graduates blinded by manifestations of physical thoughts they conjured following the build-up for graduating. The celebration they’re obsessed on, most of the time falls far beyond what I presume should be celebrated - the satisfaction of 3years worth of hard work and perseverance.

I don’t mean to be offensive in my opinions; but I guess this space could be just a medium in which I express the inner depths of my mind.

This week I’ve been pretty busy – picking up good friends, spending a lot of quality time hanging out and exchanging tales of their present beings. In the same time, fulfilling acquaintances with their parents; most of which were long overdue. During those times and now, I’ve come to facilitate the exterior towards what convocation is all about. For some, it might be the time in which families share a bit of our lives; and for some this is the time to show their families their worthiness. Surprisingly, most of these connotations revolve upon the hesitation of the beholder to another. Graduates often forget that convocation solely is for one individual – them. It’s a reminder for them; to realise that all those years of intense pain and struggle - getting from one workload to another, scraping through one deadline to another and surviving one semester to the other; finally comes to an end, in true fashion of a good hard work’s payoff.

I’d like to congratulate each and every student graduating, or have graduated this year; from all over the country encompassing every gender, race and social status. Congratulations on moving on a step above where you were when you first started, in hopes that you’ll progress further ahead in the future. Always remember the value of that thin piece of paper sandwiched between thick velvet boards; all those times and memories immortalized in a sheet of certificate we proudly call a transcript. Because in the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good you look in that convocation robe, not how dashing you style yourself in the ‘convo’ attires, or how famous you feel when people cheer your name as you walk across that stage. Because to me, the true meaning of convocation only comes at the end of it all.

That exact moment when you walk towards the chancellor, take a bow as you receive your cert, put it between your hands and walk towards the end of the stage. And at that exact span of time, for some lucky enough, there’s gonna be that awesome indescribable feeling surrounding you. And as you walk pass all those people, you’ll realize that THIS was what you’ve worked all those years for. That FEELING. And as you reach the end of it, you’ll smile – thinking that you’ve made SOMEBODY out of yourself.

Happy Convocation people…we’ve gone a long way.

-JeP

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