Bask in the glory, but remember it#039;s temporary

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 1, 2001

December is a month of many celebrations. Of course the most well known, and sometimes one of the most stressful, is Christmas.

The months of preparation required for Dec. 25 oftentimes doesn't seem quite worth the 24 hours from Christmas Eve to Christmas morning, but for some reason, we still do it.

The other stressful event for some during the month of December is college graduation, and in the next couple of weeks, many college students will be initiated into the real world.

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Especially during the last semester, many seniors count the days until they walk across the stage, receive an empty folder with an imaginary degree (the real one is mailed much later), and head out to spend a couple of hours with a family and then quite a few with their college buddies at the local bar.

The holidays are then especially wonderful for recent graduates, but no satisfaction is as great as that of the first day back at class, a time when these recent grads can sleep in, while their past collegues continue their bout with higher education.

I remember my first morning of sleeping in after my December graduation.

I was still living in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and unlike some of my collegues, I had yet to find a job. Domino's was my main source of income and I had gotten in from delivering around 3 a.m. that morning.

I woke up around 9 a.m., and grinned to myself as I looked outside to see a wet, nasty snow coming down. "No fighting for parking spots. No cold hands and ears running across the campus. Life is good." The thought of underclassmen heading to class with wet feet and cold hands gave me a satisfaction that only a recent graduate can understand.

I laid in my bed for almost an hour, basking in the joy of being able to lay in my bed for an unlimited amount of hours on a Tuesday morning.

But then it hit me.

I was out of school, a recent graduate, a journalist even, and I was still delivering pizzas. My basking in the joy of others' pain quickly diminished, and instead of facing the day, I rolled over and went back to sleep.

But, not to fret, recent grads, like me, your day will come and you will find a space in this world that you can call your own.

You will find a job that you adore and that you don't mind going to that doesn't involve the question, "What toppings would you like?"

So this Christmas, be thankful that you have graduated and be thankful for the free time that you have to spend with your family and college friends.

After all, graduation only comes once, and that sweet smile of being able to sleep late while others walk to class in the rain and snow is only momentary.