Around this time, four years ago, I was seated on a turf field, on a sweltering day in June, sweating through my cap and gown. I listened nervously to each speakers as I waited for the name calling to begin. I couldn’t wait to get my diploma, partly because it is an accomplishment, but mostly because it meant I could get out of the heat. I have never been one to feel emotional at events like these, in fact at times they make me rather uncomfortable. It can be difficult to appreciate a moment when you are in it, often it isn’t until time passes that you can really remember it for what it was.
Four years later, after graduating from college (indoors and air-conditioned this time) I am here, at AlphaGraphics, watching diplomas and commencement programs be printed, and I am reminded of this day. In my memory, there is no heat, there are no nerves, and the speeches have been fractured into general sentiments of “find what makes you happy” or “be ambitious”. In my memory, there are only the little details; staring down at the goofy green socks I decided to wear that day, side conversations with the kids sitting next to me, making eye contact with my sisters in the crowd. The individual moments that make something as traditional as a graduation personal.
As I walked across that stage, I wasn’t thinking about much, hyper-focused on making sure my handshake wasn’t a dead fish and not tripping. I nailed it. I received my diploma and I had a seat. Not-so-surprisingly, it isn’t often that someone asks to see your High School Diploma, in fact I’m not sure if that will ever happen. It isn’t something that I have framed or display, but I do still have my diploma. In addition to the validation of my graduation, it carries a great deal of sentimental value to me. As I held it in my hands on this day, I certainly didn’t know I would be interning for a printing company in the future. Before I began my work at AlphaGraphics, I hadn’t wondered where the printed materials had come from for the commencement ceremonies, nor was I aware of the people that make it happen. After working here for just a few weeks, I get a clear look into what goes into producing these items for a deadline; type changes in programs, last minute typos on diplomas, printer malfunctions and everything in between. I got a chance to look behind the curtain and see the people that helped leave me with something to remember this occasion and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.
From me, and everyone at AlphaGraphics, we want to say congratulations to all the graduates.