Some Thoughts on Graduation

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I graduated from USC two days ago.

Yesterday when I was sitting on the train, on my way home, I finally had time to do something that I haven’t been able to do in a while— to sit and think, without any distractions.

It finally hit me how insanely fortunate I have been to have had the opportunity to attend such an amazing university and have met so many amazing people. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are.

The last four years have been the best years of my life. Without a doubt. And now, my life is about to be completely different.

I think I’m ready for that change, and I’m very optimistic and excited for the future, but every time I reach a big milestone like this, something always feels a little off…

There’s always so much anticipation leading up to it, but then when the big day finally comes, I go through the motions, and all of a sudden it’s over. It feels like when you wake up from a dream, and you’re unsure if you were actually dreaming or not.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time at my graduation. But, I felt a little distracted. I think it was the result of the anxious anticipation. I had spent so much time thinking about graduation leading up to it, that when it finally came, it didn’t quite match up to my expectations.

An important lesson I’ve learned, and that has been repeatedly reinforced over the years, is that expectations can be dangerous.

It’s great to have things to look forward to, but spending too much time focused on the future (or past) distracts you from the present—the only thing that’s actually real.

Where ever you are right now, look around yourself, and appreciate it.

Every moment only passes once.

Anyway, I’m extremely grateful that I got to experience what I have experienced, and it makes me sad that I didn’t get a chance to say a proper congrats or good bye to many people I would’ve liked to. Everyone that I met at USC has had some sort of positive impact on my life, however big or small, and I’m equally grateful for them all.

I owe a huge thank you to all my friends, and my wonderful girlfriend, for being a part of my life, and I look forward to making more memories with them in the future.

I also owe many, many thanks to all of my family for their love and support throughout the years. Especially my parents, who have made so many sacrifices for me, and my older brother and sister who have always been there to offer me advice when I need it.

If you actually made it all the way to the bottom of this post, thank you for reading, and I hope I’ve had some sort of positive impact on you as well.

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Stefano Ganddini

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  • Hope you don’t mind me commenting on an older(er) post, but I was curious about the lei you’re wearing in your picture. Is that a USC tradition, or is it something that your family does? Or something else entirely? My girlfriend had one at her high school graduation–it’s a Filipino and Hawaiian tradition, she said.

    • Hm… That’s an odd question for me. I never realized that was something not everyone did. I remember everyone wearing lei’s on graduation even at my high school graduation. I guess it might just be a California thing?