7.22.2011

class of 2011 & the last of my graduation ramblings

Today I graduate from Brigham Young University – Idaho with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English, an emphasis in Creative Writing, and a minor in Organizational Communication.
This post might not be interesting to you.  I know I have rambled on quite a bit lately about graduation. I’m sorry for that, but today I’m writing for myself.  I'm just excited.  See, I graduated high school with plans that amounted to little more than attending Esthetician school in San Francisco and living in my parent’s basement for as long as I could.  I applied to college on a whim and moved to Idaho before I was even accepted.  I didn’t start with graduation in mind; I just needed to do something.  I had spent Middle and High School feeling like I was just not as smart as my peers.  I didn’t participate in a single extracurricular and I barely graduated with a 2.0 GPA.  In college, I got to choose what I studied and was thrilled with the results.  I worked hard because I loved the material and wanted to participate in classroom discussions.  I’m proud of myself, plain and simple.  For some of you, maybe a Bachelor’s degree is small fries.  But I worked my butt off to do more than I ever thought I would and today I want to celebrate that.
My Creative Writing emphasis required 200, 300, and 400 level Creative Writing courses.  I took classes with emphasis placed on Fiction, Non-Fiction, Grammar, and Publishing.  I took courses on early British literature (which I despised), Modern American literature (which I loved), Post-Modern literature (my absolute favorite), C.S. Lewis (which I have mixed emotions about), and several on literary analysis.  I took 15 credits of French, culminating in a literature class.  I wish I hadn’t been so terrified of that literature class; it turned out to be pretty fun.  If I could change anything, I would have minored in French.  For my minor I took (among other things) Group Dynamics, Persuasion, Public Speaking, and Human Resources.  Comm really wasn’t my cup of tea.  I applied and was chosen to attend a writing retreat with members of the English department in the Fall of 2010.  I also applied, interviewed, and was hired to be a TA (Teacher’s Assistant) for my last two semesters, so I got to grade papers, meet with students, and occasionally teach classes.  I really loved being a TA.
I feel so many emotions about my graduation.  I am, of course, thrilled.  I am completely ecstatic. I have adored being an English major, maybe too much (I may have gotten a bit smug about my field of study from time to time).  I feel like I spent my time at BYU-Idaho studying something important and useful and exciting.  I’m eager to see the ways that I use my degree in my life.  I know I will.  I feel deeply sad that this phase of my life is over.  I have loved advancing through the English program and learning from the professors in the department and will really miss it.  I am terrified.  I’m relieved, because as I mentioned yesterday, being a student is a really stressful thing to be.  I completed 5 semesters in the last 18 months, which took quite a mental, emotional, and even physical toll on me.  I never took any classes “just for fun,” even though that snowboarding class looked so very appealing every winter.


I wouldn't have made it through the last 3 years of college without David there, pushing me every step of the way.  Every time I said, “I think I’ll just call it a night,” he would respond, “C’mon, baby, write one more page!”  He bought me late night Diet Cokes and took me to celebratory dinners when I got a good grade on a tough assignment and rubbed my back through meltdowns every finals week.  I wouldn't have done it without parents, both mine and David’s.  Both of my Moms swore up and down that I would never regret having that degree.  They encouraged me and didn't pressure me about grandbabies and told me how proud they were every step of the way.  They showed by example that a smart, determined, hard-working woman is the best thing to be.
So…I guess that’s it!  In case you skipped all that text and read to the bottom, know this:
I graduated. 
I love BYU-I.  I love BYU-I’s English department. I will always love English.
david took pictures with me even though he graduated back in december because he's awesome and handsome and a good sport.
all photos by the incredibly talented kate.

20 comments:

  1. *small tear running down cheek* that was a lovely little ode to your education, B. yay for nerdy English majors! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dang girl! Add me to the list of people who are proud of you! You always surprise me with how much there is to you! I never would have guessed you graduated with a 2.0 or weren't involved. Good for you for sticking with it! It must feel amazing to accomplish such an awesome goal. makes me feel like I can do one more year of this :) also, you and your handsome are quite good looking together. I am confident some good looking babies will be made, in your timing of course ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hye..first of all, i like reading your blog.. fyi, here's a big fan from malaysia *ngeee. i wud like to congratulate u on ur graduation day! n i'll be graduating on oct too..it feels gooood doesn't it to have it all finish? Congratz..congratz!! Keep on writing...=))

    ReplyDelete
  4. congrats on graduating!! that's awesome :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! U are awesome:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. CONGRATS BRANDILYN THE GRAD!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read the WHOLE thing. And I think you are fabulous, and amazing, and wonderful! I am SO proud of you. I remember that High school girl and I never for a second thought that you were less than your peers -- I remember those really intelligent we'd have (intelligent for high school is maybe an exaggeration). You deserve this, you worked so hard for it, I LOVE YOU! Wish I was there to hug you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. congrats! looking forward to seeing where your life takes you. such an awesome achievement :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. hats off to you! you'll do great things!
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congratulations! That's so great that you loved what you learned! I was that way with my major, Sociology. And even though it made a bit more difficult to find a job and I'm not working in that field at all, i would totally do it all over again. Fabulous pictures and congrats again!

    North Meets South

    ReplyDelete
  11. CONGRATS!!!!!! I love the pictures. I bet that feels good. love you guys

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations to the both of you! It must feel so good. I'm so impressed with you and all your English skillz. :)

    These pictures are darling darling darling. I love them all. Print them big and frame them!

    ReplyDelete
  13. First of all, those pictures are awesome!
    Second, I love reading your blog! You are a very talented writer.
    Lastly, Congratulations! Graduating college is no small task and everyone who does it should be given props. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Congrats! That is a huge accomplishment!

    ReplyDelete
  15. No small fries! This is awesome and a big congratulations! You and your man's grad photos are really great as well! Now onto a new phase with more personal time- woo-hoo!; at least until you have wee ones:) congrats again Brandilyn!

    ReplyDelete
  16. cute cute cute pictures!!!!!!!!!!!

    Congrats!!!!!! The only pic from graduation that I have is of Brinley crying hysterically and us just wanting to leave! She was HUNGRY and that would have looked a bit awkward in the middle of the ceremony, I'm nursing a baby. But I guess it would have been a great cover up!!! lol

    ReplyDelete
  17. I can completely relate to your story. I understand what it was like feeling so disengaged to high school classes, but ultimately love college.
    Cannot wait to hear more about your plans post-graduate! (:

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really am so happy for you! Good job, my love!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my goodness. This is so exciting! Congratulations! You did it. Your story is seriously inspiring. I'm so excited to go there in the fall and start my own adventure!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ah! Brandilyn I am in tears. I am so SO proud of you. You have always been such a clever, quick-witted, hilariously charming, and beautiful girl. It brings me so much joy to read about what you have done and see your dazzling "I just graduated!" smile. & to also see that you have become an even more amazing and beautiful woman. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments!!

    ReplyDelete

oh, hey!

i think you're smart, pretty, and entitled to your own opinions.

i'd love it if the feeling was mutual!