I met this young woman on my last day in Vancouver, my last day at the University of British Columbia, and my last day as a graduate student. My partner and I were walking out of the student union building—I think we were getting a Starbucks—and I stopped by a bench to take a photo of this #ubcgrad sign on the ground in front of us. I was having all sorts of fun thinking of ways to fill in the blank, most of them unprintable. (I decided on #debtridden. Also, #worthit.) We heard a really loud shout coming from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, and then we heard it again. I think we both thought, “Kids.”
And then this young woman stopped in front of us and said (I’m paraphrasing here because my memory is not photographic): “Excuse me, but my parents are just getting into town for my graduation and my phone just totally died so I can’t get in touch with them….”
I got out my phone and was about to give it to her. “Oh, did you want to call them?”
She shook her head. “No, but I just had to tell someone. I just found out I got accepted to graduate school!”
I didn’t even get her name, but it didn’t seem important at the time. She was so excited that she was going to be attending York University studying sustainable city planning (I think that was the name of the program; it sounded fantastic) and was on her way to the airport to meet her family—literally, their plane had just touched down. But she needed to tell someone right now, and I was lucky enough to be the first person she talked to.
Me, a total stranger.
So I gave her a hug, then I gave her another one, and then she had to rush off to the bus loop to head to the airport and meet her family to tell them the good news.
If you ever by chance stumble across this: congratulations, girl. You’re going to change the world, and you’ll be great at it. Graduate school? Totally #worthit.