An Interesting Observation

by Jason Stotts

I was thinking earlier, looking back on my four years at Denison University and reflecting on my recent graduation, and an interesting observation came to me. You see, while reflecting on my graduation I realized that I was not as excited about it as I had always imagined that I would be when I was looking forward to it. Of course, I was excited and I felt proud of what I had accomplished – proud of all the hard work that I had put into my BA and of all the development that I had undergone while at college. I was excited about the future now that I had my BA and the options available to me, but I would not say that I was giddy or ecstatic.

There was definitely something missing at my graduation and although I could clearly feel that something was not as it should have been, it was not until I had actually received my diploma and was waiting for the concluding speech by President Knobel that I realized what the problem was: the one person who I had really wanted to be there was absent. It’s not as if I didn’t understand why M. was not there, it’s just that she was the only person with whom I really wanted to spend a momentous occasion like that in my life.

However, thinking of her, instead of making me sad, made me feel quite the opposite. You see when I think of M. I feel that excitement that I didn’t feel during graduation – I feel an intense excitement for the future and an expectation of great things to come. M. is the girl that I never thought I’d find, the girl who I was beginning to fear did not exist, the perfect girl for me.

If I believed in the idea of “soul-mates”, people destined to be together because they are perfect for each other, then that’s what she would be to me.

That thought, however, was a little troubling to me – why was it that I was excited about M. and not about my graduation from college?

The question had been mulling around in my mind for awhile and last night while talking to RG, he pointed out the answer to me – an answer which was surprising simple. A Bachelors degree, for me, is only a means to something else (whether graduate school or just as a path to knowledge) while on the other hand, M. is an end in herself. That’s why I was not that excited about the BA and I was excited about M., the former represents another step on a path for me while the latter represents a goal.

Apparently, then, this means that I have my hierarchy of value in line, even if not explicitly, because I ascribed the appropriate amount of value to the BA and to M. without even realizing what I had done. It’s a good feeling to know that your values are aligned correctly and that you can act from them without fear that you’re actually deluding yourself.

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