I had my final session of one of my classes last night. All I have left is class on Monday and the final day at my internship on Tuesday and then I will have officially completely all my requirements for my Master's degree. Which is crazy. At the same time, it seems to have been forever and no time at all.
We celebrated in class last night. This particular class has been a year-long course, accompanying my internship. So I've seen the same faces weekly since September. We have shared challenges and accomplishments.
As I looked around at my classmates, some of whom I knew even before this year, I realized that I didn't really know any of them well. I don't have any of their phone numbers. I've never hung out with any of them outside of school. A couple of them are Facebook friends, but that's it. I feel very much like an outsider there.
This is in large part because my life is very different from most of the other students in my class. The majority of them don't work and came to the program straight from undergrad. It took most of them the typical two years to finish the program, following the class curriculum, while it took me three years, attending part-time.
So I left class last night with mixed feelings. I'm very proud at having finished my program, and having finished successfully. I have learned and grown and I think I have done a good job. I have come to the conclusion that I have picked the right field for myself, which is a huge thing. But in some small way I feel like I have failed because I have not forged friendships with my classmates. I guess it just tints my feelings of accomplishment a little bit.
In general, I am proud of myself. Really, really proud. I know that this degree was about pursuing a career that I would really feel is meaningful and that will allow me to make a difference. And I have accomplished that goal. And if not with my classmates, then I will celebrate with my friends and co-workers, who have been the ones who I have made those connections with over the past three years.