On Saturday, I was fortunate enough to be able to don a mortarboard - completely with 2011 tassel - to celebrate completing my undergraduate degree along with 311 other joyful, impatient, ready-for-it-to-all-be-over Kresge students at UCSC.
Hey, Mom, I did it! That's me waving in the front row.
Greeting the audience in Danish as part of Kresge's multilingual greeting.
With four years of undergraduate education squarely between my ears, I happily switched my tassel from right to left. Wearing Birkenstocks, yes. Because this is Santa Cruz, after all.
And promptly filed out to join the ranks of the unemployed. Yet optimistic!
I couldn't have stopped smiling if I tried.
Bonus: Happy birthday, Ryk!
Couldn't have done it without you, Mom.
What would a joint graduation-birthday celebration be without a celebratory dinner? After the commencement ceremony, we made our way to La Posta, my favorite Italian restaurant on my favorite street in Santa Cruz.
Whether you call it hygge, joie de vivre, or just chillin', there's nothing better than sharing the simple - and fundamental - pleasures of food, drink and conversation with loved ones. If there's anything I've learned in college, it's that.
That, and how to have a damn good time.
As evidenced by Nick and Sean popping Champagne
And my drinking it.