On April 23, I presented my senior thesis, "She Loves the River: Women Environmental Activists for Bay Area Watersheds," in front of friends, family, the thesis instructors, and my mentor, Professor Carolyn Merchant. And so did the rest of the graduating class of Environmental Sciences majors! It was an incredible experience to present the thesis that I've been breaking my back over to so many of my loved ones, and realize that I am actually very proud of what I've done.
The week after my thesis presentation, April 24-28, was my last week of classes as an undergrad. It still blows my mind that I'm done with going to lectures at UC Berkeley. Unless I end up coming back to take classes for fun, or for graduate school, I'm done trudging around campus with a backpack that's way too heavy and a planner that's way too full. And that is SO exciting - but also kinda sad.
April 28, my partner and I got the keys for our apartment. Not only am I moving out of the apartment that I've lived in for 3 years, which is a big deal, I'm moving in with my partner, which is an even bigger deal. In the two weekends since then, we've been running around collecting furniture and making the place feel like home piece by piece. As of today, we have a bed! And trash cans! And rugs! And cups! Woohoo!
On the next Friday, May 5, my entire thesis was due. My class met one last time as a group to eat cake, give hugs, and complain and congratulate each other at the same time. They were a good group. I hope we meet again. (I guess that's what college reunions are for!)
Today, after months of hunting for a job post-graduation, I got a job offer that I am jumping on and not letting go: I'm going to be a Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist at the Aquarium of the Bay starting this summer! The story is a confusing one, but this is actually the 2nd time I've been offered a job at the aquarium. The previous time was in February and I couldn't accept it. This time, you bet I'm accepting it.
Tomorrow, I take my very last final.
This Saturday and Sunday, I will walk in my university-wide Commencement, and my college-specific Commencement. I've got the gown and cap and everything.
I'm not trying to brag by writing all of this out. I'm writing this out because I can't even believe how many incredible milestones have happened in the last month - no, 3 weeks! I'm trying to convince myself that it all really happened. It's hard to wrap my head around how so many good things have happened so quickly... but I guess they must have!
It feels like I've been waiting for this moment forever. I've been thinking about what it would feel like to be done for ages. But at the same time, it's hard to actually come to terms with being done. This is a chapter of my life that is coming to a close. Yes, it was was way more difficult than I could have imagined, but UC Berkeley has still been the most significant period of my life so far, and I know it will remain important to me for the rest of my life.
Maybe it will be easier to close this chapter once I've walked across the stage and hugged my parents and friends afterwards. That's what Commencement is for, isn't it? I'll tune back in after this weekend and let you know!