Graduating college feels pretty surreal. Perhaps it's because the last four years have gone by so fast, or perhaps it's because we spent the last year-and-a-half in the midst of a pandemic that seems to never be letting up and has shaped so much of my college experience. Regardless, I was so happy to be surrounded by so many friends and family celebrating our accomplishments together.
The graduation festivities spanned three days of constant ceremonies and parties that celebrated the graduating students, and it was so awesome to see so many people, many of which I hadn't seen since the pandemic began. From a picnic with math professors, to reminiscing with President's Scholars about all the memories we made together, to a reception with the physics department and finally to the commencement and graduation ceremonies, the three days were packed with festivities and celebrations. I am really glad that it was all able to come together, because it didn't always feel like it would. Several months earlier we had been warned that there was a good chance that very little or even none of the "traditional" graduation festivities would be allowed due to the pandemic. But as vaccines became more available and cases and transmission began to lower in Dallas, SMU gave us a chance at having as normal a graduation experience as possible.
Graduation weekend was, though perhaps obviously, the perfect end to my experience at SMU. It contained so much of what I had loved about college: friends, organizations, physics and an opportunity to speak to people about the amazing memories made while at SMU. Even though everyone is going off to our places all over the world, I still feel very connected to so many of these people, and I hope to see them in the future. I look forward to seeing what so many of these "world changers" do to make the world a better place and to be the change that we speak so much about making.