Friday, May 22, 2020

Graduation Reflection

What's this? A list post that's not promoting a recently-released book? MADNESS. I bet you didn't know we still did those, did you? But we are currently between book tours, which means I get to think of other things to talk about. And that means that I can do the thing I've been meaning to do since the beginning of May, which is some graduation reflection. Specifically, I wanted to look back and reflect on some things that have changed or stayed the same for me or about me since I arrived at Cedarville — other than the obvious things, like the fact that I'm four years older and know a lot more about writing and design and marketing and such and live in Virginia again instead of New York. (Of course, I just mentioned all those things, so I don't even have to include them on the list!)

Graduation Reflection

  1. I'm rather more confident when it comes to people things. For one thing, I'm more comfortable talking in front of people. I think the fact that I was required to do it at least a little in almost all my classes sophomore year helped, as did playing and running D&D this past two years. I actually got to the point where I would volunteer to speak for my group any time we had presentations or such — not because I necessarily enjoyed it, but because I didn't mind doing it. I also became more comfortable taking charge of groups — to be honest, I may have gotten too comfortable doing that, which probably did not do wonders for my popularity. But once I didn't mind actually talking, I found that the best way to stay in the loop about what was happening was to be the one running the loop. So . . . that's what I did. (That may also have contributed to my willingness to talk in front of people; I was the one who was in charge of everything and knew the most about what was going on, so I was the one who did the most talking about it.)
  2. I'm also more comfortable with criticizing professors when they deserve it. I remember back in freshman year, I mentioned in one LATE Club post that I was terribly bothered by how negative my classmates' attitudes towards a particular professor seemed to be, not because I thought they were wrong but because I didn't think we should talk so much about it. I . . . am over that now. I still do try to keep in mind professors' good points, and I respect that they have their positions for a reason, but if I have a problem with them, I will talk about it. (Respectfully, and not to random people on the street. But still.
  3. I actually have less solid goals than I did when I started? When I started at Cedarville, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted to do — job type, industry, location, everything. (And, yes, it was basically a full-time version of the internship I'd just completed, but in a different state). Now, though, I'm interested in so many things that I'm kind of like "I could do this . . . or this . . . or this other thing . . . they all sound good, really." I'm not sure if this is progress or not, but it does make job searching easier, so there's that. (It's just weird, though — I had a sort of idea that you go to college and you leave with a better idea of what you want to do with your life, but the opposite happened to me.)
  4. I somehow developed a social life? And became a person who organizes things? And by "things" I mean group events. (In terms of actual orderliness, I am exactly as inclined to organization as I was before college. Which is to say, I'm mildly obsessive about some things and can't be bothered with others.) Sometimes group events involving upwards of a dozen people. Sometimes even things involving whole clubs of people. This is coming from me, a confirmed introvert. I'm really not sure how any of that happened, but I'm glad it did . . . except for the fact that I get lonely more easily now. So that's not ideal. (The fact that I still have D&D to hang out with a lot of my closest friends helps, for the record.)
  5. And finally, something that's apparently stayed the same: I don't move on super easily unless the rug gets yanked out from under me. This is actually something I've been thinking about with the whole COVID-19 thing and the fact that neither of my senior years have gone the way I wanted them to or given me all the time I wanted with my friends. In high school, I moved to New York the summer before my senior year, which meant that all the last moments with my friends had to be compressed into the space of a few months. And then COVID-19 sent everyone home from college with even less time for goodbyes and last hurrahs and so forth. And I hated both of those, but . . . there was actually a benefit? I didn't want things to end, and I didn't want things to change, and I didn't really want to get on with the next stage of life in either case . . . until all the things and people I was attached to in that stage either got stripped away or reset, and suddenly I was ready for the potential of the next stage and excited to move on. So, I'm not saying that God orchestrates my life so I get slammed with catastrophes every time I need to move on from something, buuuuut . . . there's a trend developing. That's all.
For my fellow 2020 graduates: what do you see about yourself that's changed since you started college? Do you feel like any of the things I mentioned apply to you as well? And if you're not a 2020 grad (which a lot of the people following this post probably aren't), feel free to share something that's changed for you in the last four years! I'd love to hear your perspectives!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)


  1. Congratulations on graduating!
    I'm not a 2020 grad, but I am a 2021 grad...(though I would be 2022 if I wasn't such an overachiever...)I feel like I have gotten more professional with my public speaking and presentations, though I was already pretty comfortable with it (Years of Speech and Debate will do that to you, lol)

    Glad you're finding a positive angle to look at COVID from and best of luck with post college life!

    1. Thanks! And thank you for sharing! I am very impressed by people who can do Speech and Debate and enjoy it, haha.


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