Musings Upon My College Graduation

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Musings Upon My College Graduation

I thought about writing a poem on my graduation day, but I procrastinated. Here, though, I am finally able to galvanize all my attention and emotion to this farewell letter the night before I leave Pittsburgh. 

I took a walk around the area I’ve lived for four years. I saw two stars and six lighting bugs. I saw the victory light on top of Cathedral of Learning. I even saw a wild bunny with a fluffy tail. I felt the wind blow, the moon’s shine. I never really slowed down to absorb the beauty and harmony this city has offered, until tonight. 
Please do allow my nostalgia to commence, then. 

Musings Upon My College Graduation


About growing up

How ironic, six years ago I came to the U.S with two pieces of luggage: one carry-on and one backpack. Now I am leaving with the same number of belongings. The stuff inside of my luggage is different now, though - I’ve got more books, letters, and photos, less jewelry and cosmetics. They are heavy, like a bag of stones - cobblestones that are imprinted with all my recollections. 
For the past four years of college, I’ve enjoyed learning about race and ethnicities, exploring global issues, and discoursing with people from all walks of life. I’ve learned much more from human interaction and independent research than from any textbook. 

I’ve also learned how to survive. I’m not exaggerating. I am extremely grateful to my family, mentors, professors, acquaintances, and confidants I encountered along the way. I was reckless and stubborn. I’ve been told to take a step back when I was dreaming, to compromise when in dilemma, to take the initiative, and to remain being a dreamer. 

Growing up can be somewhat difficult. Actually, it’s really difficult. The lack of a father figure when growing up helped me to become independent. Coming to a new country taught me to be brave and tough. Learning a new language and being a minority pushed me to be fearless and outspoken. Yet at the end of the day, I am still a vulnerable 22-year-old. I cried when I didn’t do well on an exam, when I struggled to find a job, when I couldn’t carry all the groceries home. I almost cried when I learned how to ski. To me, part of growing up means wiping away my tears, and continuing to strive hard; I believe endurance lies between strive and thrive.

After all, I did well in school, I can carry three larges bags of groceries (striking out on that fourth one still), and I can ski without tripping every 5 miles. Thank goodness I have a pretty contagious laugh - and I laugh a lot, I have used that to cover up my weakness pretty well. I don’t think I would appreciate and cherish life this much without all the imperfections. I am again grateful for that. 

Musings Upon My College Graduation



I enjoy solitude, a lot. I enjoy it even more after having a great conversation with someone. Relationship building is a unique lesson college has taught me. I think I aced this course, because hey, look around, I have made some smart and genuine friends. They are the ones who stuck with me during my ups and downs, comforted me, and gave me the momentum to reach that ultimate goal of mine. A friend of mine just called me to say a goodbye, and I answered, “Keep in touch.” She then said: “You know it’ll be hard to do that.” Here is my early apology to my friends who I said keep in touch to, but might not do well in that matter. I want you to know that I care so much about every single one of you. I think about you often, but sometimes I’m either forgetful or genuinely don’t know how to start the conversation when we are miles apart. I don’t think the depth of our friendship should be measured by the time we spend together; it’s more about how much we value each other. In that case, I am confident I have the strongest friendship with you all. 

My second apology goes to the boys I went on dates with. I wouldn’t go on a date with you if I was not attracted to you: be it your personality, appearance, intelligence, or your sincere kindness. Yet, the Lynn you asked out hides so much behind the laugh. I can be lazy and boring - oftentimes, I just lie in bed and watch Netflix. I am not as brave as I appear to be; I am scared of bugs, heights, horror movies, fights, and my mom being disappointed in me. I can be forgetful - I’ve found my cell phone in the fridge three times, I’ve lost tons of bobby pins. Sometimes I even forget to show my adoration of you. I think love and romance are beautiful and imperative. I cannot live without loving a male; in the meantime, there is so much more than attraction and hormones, there are culture, passion, respect, compassion, wisdom, truthfulness, and honesty. I am sorry we are not compatible to each other. I wish I could be less passive when it comes to relationships but it’s hard, so I’ll wait for it, patiently and peacefully. 

My third apology goes out to my little brothers and sisters. Mom said we are siblings by god, not by gene. I thank god for arranging me to have this lovely family. Do you know that I always come gazing at your cheeks when you fall asleep at night? (I’ll never tell you this since I know you would say how creepy this is). I never spit out the I love you, but I hope you do know how much you mean to me. Wesley, Jessie, Ben, Claire, and Will, each one of you are extremely smart and fun, I want you to have the best education you can possibly get. One of the goals I have had in the past few years is being able to support you financially if you get into expensive private colleges. Here comes my apology to Wesley, who will be entering college in 3 years: sorry my income isn’t enough to pay for your future tuition; this is still my goal, and I will achieve that in, say, 6 years. 

Musings Upon My College Graduation

My final apology goes to my future children. I cannot wait to love you, love this part of my body, a creation from a deeply loving couple. I will love you, no matter  your color, gender, sexual orientation and appearance. I cannot wait to nurture you and I am excited to see what a great person you will become. Yet, I am so sorry, I am sorry that I did not study computer science or engineering so I can make six figures; I wanted to pursue journalism, education, and human rights - these are the things that keep me awake until morning. I’m sorry you might not have as much opportunities as I had when growing up, but I’m certain you will do fine. 


About the Future

I am not considered a student anymore; I am entitled with much more accountability now. Moving to a new city can be scary, and it’s a bit tiring that I will have to start from zero…getting used to public transportation, reaching out to a new community, adapting to a professional environment. Yet, I am extremely excited to meet colleagues who share the same passion with me, to look for that one unique tea house and bookstore I can spend Sunday afternoons at, to run by the riverside and snap the harmony of a new city. 


Only after I left school did I notice how much I enjoyed academia. One of my wishes for the future is to never stop learning and questioning. I am afraid I will be bombarded by workload and forget to read subjects that I sincerely care about. I wish that no matter how busy I will be, I can still find time to paint, take photos, reminisce, and to dream. 

Musings Upon My College Graduation




Lin Yuhan is the Culture and Politics Editor for Wandering Educators.


All photos courtesy and copyright Lin Yuhan