If pride really is a deadly sin, then I must be dying and going to hell, as I am bursting with pride for my daughter. After four years of university - with its poor eating habits, all night paper writing sessions, stressing, studying, studying and more studying - my daughter recently made her way across the stage to receive her diploma. It is a particularly proud and exciting time for me as she is the first in her family to get a degree - her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins inclusive.I did not attend university, so I could not advise my daughter as to what to expect during her post-secondary schooling. One of the schools which offered the program my daughter wanted to pursue was one my older sister had attended for a time and had enjoyed. It was a great school, not far from home, so the choice was made.
When my husband and I moved our daughter into her dorm room on that first day I encouraged her to engage in the frosh week activities so as to meet new people. And I was glad she had a roommate to keep her from becoming too homesick. Unfortunately, her roommate was even more homesick than my daughter and spent the first few weekends of school back home with her parents. Eventually, her roommate settled in and they became good friends, but those first few weeks were hard, as I worried about her being away from home, and homesickness had her emailing every day.
Her independence grew through the years. In her second year she had her own dorm room, her third year she shared an apartment with a friend and this fourth and final year, her own apartment.
So now, four years later, it is the time for her, and a multitude of other university students, to step into the real world and find out if the student loans were all worth it. After seventeen or more years of schooling, they face a future without a classroom. It is a time for them to ponder, “Now what?” They may wonder, “Do I use what I’ve learned to begin my career? Are there any openings in my chosen field? Do I go back to school? Can I afford to go back to school?” My hope is that a degree will give my daughter more choices and make life a little easier for her. Isn’t it the hope of all parents for their children to have a better life than themselves?
It was the thought of this hope and pride for my daughter that made it hard for me to hold back my emotions on that special day as my daughter went from graduand to graduate and I said to myself, "I am the mother of a university graduate." I find that tears well up in my eyes even now as I write those words. If pride is wrong, then I don't want to be right.As she hangs her hard earned diploma on the wall, my daughter’s first thoughts are to kick back and de-stress for a bit before heading back into the work force. I suppose she’s earned a little time to relax and decide what to do next, after all, I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up!
Stephanie, we are all very proud of you! xo