Putting on my black gown, I felt like an attorney getting ready for court. The only difference was the traditional cap and my golden cord that was hanging around my neck, representing my GPA.
It felt so unreal, I had seen it in movies countless times, how the graduating students would all walk up to the podium to receive their diploma,
listen to inspirational speeches and then finally, throw their caps in the air. I had seen it, but never experienced it.
While waiting inside the school for it to finally be seven o' clock, I was thinking about, what this graduation meant for me. Legally, nothing.
As an exchange student and because of the kind of visa that I possess, am I not able to receive a full high school diploma, I would simply receive a certificate of attendance.
But emotionally, it meant a lot to me.
I was dreaming about this moment for the last few years, imagining what it would feel like to wear the cap and gown and sit in between all off the other graduates.
I see this experience as a gift, it doesn't't mean anything for my future, not experiencing it wouldn't have changed anything at all.
The only thing that it changed is the fact, that I was able to collect a new memory. A memory that I will pass on to my friends and family, and hopefully one day to my own children.
The weather was perfect, it was war but not hot, it was windy but not - well, maybe it was a little to windy, judging from how my partner's cap almost flew away during the ceremony.
I had a white rose in my hand. The whole time I was grateful for it, since it gave my hands a job while I was listening to all the speeches of my fellow students and my favorite English teacher.
I will never forget the short moment of confusion, after my name was called and where I had to decide, when to walk up to the person who would hand me the diploma,
or the moment when one of my teachers gave me a handshake and called me "Hug Dealer" because that was one of the captions on a sweater I would wear from time to time.
I know that when my name was called, it was not the name most of the people cheered for since I never counted to the extremely popular kids, I mean,
people like me but I am not the social butterfly I could be if I would pu more effort into it,
but the people that did cheer for me are the ones that had an impact on my life or I had an impact on theirs. That is what counts, not quantity but quality!
I have some things that I wish now, I would have done differently during my time here, but I don't want to regret. I want to learn from them and do better next time.
Regret will make you sad or even angry and you could start feeling resentful towards yourself, that is not what I want.
I want to be motivated to try again next time because I know, that I will be better then.
But for now, I will keep this particular memory as one, that I will never forget and the I will always be grateful for.