I’m graduating! As I prepared to complete my final semester at BYU-Idaho, I realized that besides my mission, I don’t really have any memory of what it is like not to be in school. I began kindergarten when I was what, five or six? And even if I could remember what life was like before then, I don’t think that running around the yard as a toddler is any real standard to be help up against. Almost everyone asks me if I’m excited. Maybe a little bit, yes. A little scared too and just the tiniest bit sad. But mostly right now, I just feel tired. Like I’ve run a double-marathon and I’m simply ready to fall face-first across the finish line. I’ve spent 10 long years crawling my way through school here, and I really just want it to be over. I suppose graduating is better than quitting, but I really don’t know if I could have handled another year of it if I had to. I don’t mean to sound so depressing about my own graduation. It’s still probably one of the biggest events of my life. Still, I look back 10 years ago and wonder if there were not any other options. I believe that there should be more paths leading to life careers which would be equally acceptable in society. I’m a huge fan of the Apprenticeship method and feel that it would do more for some young adults who have already decided on their profession than the classroom and campus establishment of a college. I just know that for me personally, college was extraordinarily difficult and I somewhat resent that I have had to wait all this time before being “set free” just now start to try and make an impact in the world of Biology. Because certainly any ambitious effort to dive into such work early would have hindered my ability to complete my studies at all. But here I am now. My parents have driven out here to Idaho all the way from Illinois and I’ve already had a great time with them. Jessica, interestingly enough, is actually just beginning her two week tour of southeastern Europe, and that’s almost more exciting than my graduation. I didn’t mind the idea of her going. For a time I wasn’t even sure if I was going to walk at the ceremony. I’m honestly kind of embarrassed to stand up there, as if somehow the crowd will know that it took me 10 years to complete what should have only taken 4. But I decided to go for it, knowing that it is easier to shrug off a little paranoid embarrassment than it would be to live the rest of my life with that tiny extra bit of regret. I’ll see how I feel once it’s all over with. Maybe it will make a difference when I’m finally holding my diploma in my hand. Either way, wish me luck!