And lift your chin up, just a bit, and look over here, very nice We took class pictures about a month ago. I participated in this because (1) I need the "passport" style photos. Raleigh requires these to be submitted before taking the state exam and (2) I decided to reign in my gut squenching, knee jerk disgust with "participation."
I actually said these words in my head, "I am going to participate.". I said to myself . . . "to not participate is to reject the values of people I have come to respect . . . and no matter how much cooler than this I am- I am not going to be remembered as the person "too cool" to do this". This will be gay X 10, but goddamnit I'm going to do it.
I came to this decision a few months ago. What I didn't count on was how freakishly frightening it is to plan for "the end". Beyond the uncomfortable, goof ball ceremony to look forward to- is the fact I don't feel ready.
Today a "composite" group picture was hung on the wall in the main hallway. I didn't notice it coming in and though people talked about it in class, when I left I found I had no desire to look at it.
The guy who took our pictures was good. He had us look off at dramatic angles and then just before he clicked the shutter, he would say something funny to make us smile (something about Look Here At My Big Nose!).
As a result, we all look stunning and bright and full of hope- unfortunately none of us have actually graduated yet.
I made a comment in our group today- "what are they going to do with our pictures if we don't actually pass?" And how Embarrassing! . . . . to look all smiley and hopeful and be up on that wall and to fail?
A woman in my group chimed in "Yeah! No Joke!"
Interestingly enough this woman is someone who I think of as (1) someone who is very, very prepared and is doing an excellent job in this program and (2) someone I kind of despise.
I don't actually dislike her because she appears to be doing so well- I hate her because I feel like she looks at me with disdain, plus she flicks her pony tail a lot. Ponytail flicking + disdain was a little annoying, but kind of funny for the first 4 semesters. Here at the end where I feel completely freaked out, it merits raging resentment.
Her comment actually helped me to not dislike her so much, that she could see how awkward it would be to have your photo on the wall even though you hadn't passed (or that she, too is experiencing the pressure and anxiety involved with having photo on wall and fearing not passing)
Because I've never finished anything before, this new finishing something anxiety is really getting to me.
Did you kids, who finished that English/Liberal Arts/ 4 year degree- back when you should have- did you feel anxiety? Did you feel yourself struggling not to sabotage/screw it up? Was it weird for you? And if so, how'd you get around it?