I’ve only known my husband as a student.
We met in college, and while I wrapped up my education in 2008, he trucked along through an Aerospace Engineering degree until 2012. I spent many evenings alone while he studied on campus with his classmates. I remember him rolling in around 9:30 or 10:00p and longing for the days when he would be finished with school.
During his senior year of undergrad, he started considering attending graduate school for either an MBA or MEM (Masters of Engineering Management). We spent a great deal of time talking about the pros and cons, praying for guidance, and questioning whether it was the right time to do that.
We decided that sooner was better than later, so he applied to one school.
Justin has been a Duke fan from when he was a little boy. When we started dating, I was still fresh out of the North and didn’t really know much about the Duke and UNC rivalry around these parts. So when Justin told me he liked Duke, I considered liking UNC to be flirty. I thought it would be fun to joke with each other about which team is better. Clearly, I didn’t take it very seriously. It took him about 2 minutes of convincing me that the wiser choice would be Duke and suddenly, I found myself a Duke fan.
It was a really special day when he found out he was accepted into the MEM program at Duke. This was a lifelong dream that was finally coming true. Within an hour of reading the acceptance letter, he started referring to the basketball team as “his team” and the campus as “my campus”. He was beaming with pride and joy. And he deserved to be! Duke is a tough school, and he had worked incredibly hard to maintain outstanding grades and develop an impressive resume/application to apply with. I had no doubt he would be accepted, and I was so happy for him to experience such a dream come to fruition.
This weekend it all comes to a close. He graduates from the Duke MEM program. We’ve been talking about this weekend for awhile, and how surprised we are that it came quickly. While I’m glad he will no longer be a student, I wouldn’t change anything about the journey in his academic career. And I don’t think he would either. Sure, it was a long road, but he has notable degrees to show for it.
This weekend we’ll be celebrating at all the graduation events with our families, and topping the weekend off with a cookout on Sunday.
Come Monday morning, we’ll start the next chapter of the non-academic part of our lives that I’ve been very much looking forward to!