Opinion: Remembering graduation

Published 10:36 am Monday, May 22, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since I graduated from the University of Montevallo, and yet, at the same time, it feels like forever ago.

I recently had the strange opportunity to write about the commencement ceremony for the University of Montevallo’s class of 2023. As I listened to President John W. Stewart III give familiar salutations on the recognizable Flowerhill lawn, it reminded me of my own graduation ceremony in spring 2022.

I remembering waiting in line forever and the long walk in the sun down from the Main Quad through King’s Quad down to Flowerhill. I remember sitting in my cap and gown with a bottle of water and the graduation program in the hot sun. I also remember the incredible speech given by the class of 2022’s Commencement Speaker Dr. Wilson Fallin Jr.

I remember how disappointed I was that only my parents came to the graduation, but also how great it was after the ceremony to meet up with my Montevallo family, The Alabamian.

I would not be here at the Shelby County Reporter if not for my friends in the school newspaper who were always a source of encouragement and provided the opportunity to learn about journalism.

Now, a year later, I get to see many of my remaining friends at The Alabamian obtain their degrees that they worked so hard for as they take the next step in their lives.

It’s an odd feeling to write about your friends’ graduation. My days at Montevallo seem so long ago.

I know it’s only been a year, and yet, it’s weird to reflect on the weekly struggle of a college student.

I don’t miss the self-imposed last-minute deadlines as I struggled alongside others to finish projects at the last second. I don’t miss writing 10-page papers, and I certainly don’t miss math classes.

However, I do miss my favorite professors and the lengths they would go to discuss various topics with me. I miss how fulfilling it was to take a class with a topic that was so fascinating, it made the experience a joy. I also miss the hours I would spend in the Student Publications Office with others in The Alabamian working on the newspaper and goofing off.

Like any experience in life, my days at Montevallo were a mix of highs and lows. You might take a class expecting to love it and find out it’s the worst thing ever. You also might be forced to take a class and then discover that it ends up being one of your favorites. That’s what makes life so unexpected and so exciting. It would be boring if you could predict every detail of your day.

It’s hard to cover a graduation ceremony that you have no attachment to or investment in, but it’s even harder to write about one that means so much to yourself.

Goodbye, Montevallo. I don’t see myself coming back physically, but maybe an occasional reminiscing will be fine. Lastly, congratulations to the UM class of 2023. May you forever have good memories of life on the red bricks.