One question inevitably asked of the college graduate is “How does it feel to be a graduate?” The answer, perhaps unsurprisingly, is “Very similar to being an undergraduate.” But there’s a little more to it than that.
Upon graduating from college, one can look back at his experiences and realize that college has served two purposes: first and foremost, it is a time of education, but it also acts as a bridge into the “real world.” In some cases (probably more likely of a public university) the latter is accomplished far more completely than the former. College thrusts people into awkward situations, fosters independence, and exposes the individual to (at least a bit) of the strange and different things around him. All the while, it forces camaraderie and builds relationships. In these capacities it is a seemingly vital contributor to creating a balanced adult.
Even if he does not remember the minutiae so briefly mentioned in the lectures he has attended, the graduate will have a host of memories to serve him as he goes forth. Perhaps these consist of watching CSI reruns or crappy movies when nothing else is good on TV, or listening to the outlandish stories told by drunken fraternity members. Or maybe he’ll recall the times he and his friends called each other to ensure that the others were not yet studying for an impending exam, ensuring that all would be equally screwed. He’ll remember, most assuredly, the girl he met who had both beauty and a good personality – a rare commodity in this day and age. And there are memories that will be difficult to bring to mind, but all are equally constructive in the long run.
Although a college degree no longer means what it once did, it is the experience of college – not the paper, or title, conferred – which truly matters. And for that, the graduate may not feel any different, but that is simply because he cannot perceive the differences which occurred in him so gradually over his time at school.