Although I've told plenty of people before now, I was holding off on my announcement until I received written confirmation, the evidence to back up my claim.
I graduated! And the proof? I received my diploma in the mail today! Exciting, huh?
It took me an insanely long time to complete my degree (electrical engineering) due to a change of majors and drastic change in priorities and outlook, plus having to work to support myself. But alhamdulillah! While I'm not the first in my immediate family to obtain a degree (both my sisters have a bachelor's,) I am the first to receive it from the same institution at which I originally enrolled, and without ever dropping out. And I do consider that to be something of an accomplishment, small though it may be. And believe it or not, I also finished mine in the least amount of time.
And now I am ready to look toward the future, but I'm faced with other people's expectations. First, they assume that the moment I graduated I was suddenly employed. This isn't exactly the greatest economy, and there is an abundance of qualified individuals ready for companies to hire, rather than newly grads like me. Also, I have for some time decided that I will not pursue a career in electrical engineering.
I spent a full four years working for and with electrical engineers, engaged in the same sort of work as they, but I didn't find it to be at all fulfilling. When I selected engineering, (and I picked aerospace engineering, actually, instead of electrical) it was because I loved science fiction. The idea of developing technologies, and especially all concepts of space travel, particularly intrigued me. One of my all-time favorite experiences was piloting a small aircraft. When I switched into electrical from aerospace, the engineering became more to do with computers, video games, cell phones, power grids, and health/fitness testing. And it really lost interest for me at that point. I appreciate the skills I acquired in studying engineering, and I definitely enjoy math and physics still, so I am looking now towards the idea of teaching.
However, as I am going to be getting married in less than two months, and since I'll be moving across the country, it doesn't seem very practical to even try to either find a job in engineering or invest in teaching certification while I'm still here. Of course, I think it would be worthwhile to do something, at least.
But for the moment, my main priorities are maintaining some practices from Ramadan, improving my health and fitness, and planning my wedding. And I'm pretty excited about all these things. Graduating is just one more accomplishment I can write down as achieved in 2009.