I graduated! It was an exciting week building up to graduation but also a week filled with many "goodbyes,” and so I am left feeling pretty bittersweet in the days after commencement. Actually, it was first more “sweet” and then “bitter,” as the first half of the week that led up to graduation was filled with fun times with friends, while the finality of graduation hit me in the last few days of events.
After I finished my written comprehensive exams, oral thesis defense and two final exams, I was completely free for the week before graduation. It felt great! During this “dead week,” as we call it, many seniors chose to travel with friends. However, I stayed on campus and continued to work at the library and spent lots of time with my friends. One favorite local adventure was visiting the top of the Cleveland Tower, located at Princeton’s graduate school! I also loved checking out the Plainsboro Preserve, a wildlife center with some pretty walking trails a bit off campus, attending this year's Triangle Show and watching movies with close friends late into the night (with no homework hanging overhead!).
Then the graduation events started! At first, there was the infamous Reunions weekend, a time when about 25,000 alumni return to campus with their families for the spirited "P-Rade" (a parade where all of the past graduates march together by class), as well as fireworks on Saturday night.
Sunday was our Baccalaureate service and Monday was Class Day. Although I really enjoyed sitting next to my best friends at these events and, of course, was excited about the Commencement procession (and officially receiving my degree), I realized in these last days Princeton had truly become my home, and I was very sad to leave my friends and life I had established here.
After four exciting, fun, intense and challenging years here, I've learned so much. I will miss the home that Princeton became for me. What a great journey I have had! I have now graduated as part of the Class of 2017, and I wish all future Tigers an equally wonderful experience!