I went to and got my diploma today. I was saving it for a special occasion - you know, one of those days when the whole world felt like it was against you. On that sort of day, I wanted to be able to go claim my diploma and remind myself that I have accomplished something. A sort of "Don't worry, you're not a failure; here's a PhD!"
But somehow, I woke up this morning and decided, "Today is the day." After English class, I went over to the building and walked over to the correct department. The lady took my ID and left, in search of my diploma. When she came back, she was holding a LARGE piece of paper with my name on it, spelled correctly and lots of cursive writing that I was suddenly struggling to read because I could feel tears wanting to form. It all felt so monumental and surreal.
The lady looked at me, "Are you going to roll it up yourself? Or should we?"
I stopped staring, stopped fighting the tears and returned to reality. "Oh, sorry. I can do it." With shaking hands, I rolled up that diploma and put it into the tube they supplied.
I'm sure that woman gives away diplomas on a daily basis. But for me, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
"I have worn the honors of Honor. I graduated from Virginia." - James Hay, Jr.