I graduated from college last April 25, 2015.

And I still can’t believe it.

Standing out
Standing out

The ceremony was a very bittersweet moment. I can’t believe college is over. Those five years of my life were a rollercoaster ride- I experienced some of the best times in my life and I experienced some of the worst. I experienced success in some areas, and failures in others. I also learned that life doesn’t always go as you want it, and the crown won’t always go to you even if you feel you deserve it. Throughout the process, I learned which people were worth keeping as friends and which ones weren’t. I also got exposed to different people and experiences.

You really learn a lot from those things. And I wouldn’t be the person I am today if not for both those good and bad experiences.

Below are some photos of me and my friends and family before, during, and after the Graduation Ceremony.

My friends and I graduated under a Bachelor of Arts degree in Multimedia Arts and Design. You can visit my friends’ respective portfolios here: Roszene, Pearl, Kat and Karmi. Mine too.

A pixelated photo of us hanging out at Room 401 for the last time
A pixelated photo of us hanging out at Room 401 for the last time
Before the Graduation: Kat, Me, and Pearl Photo courtesy of Pearl
Before the Graduation: Kat, Me, and Pearl
Photo courtesy of Pearl
Class of 2015!Photo courtesy of Kat
Class of 2015!
Photo courtesy of Kat


We've Offficially Graduated! Karmi, Roszene, Me, Pearl, and Kat Photo courtesy of Kat
We’ve Offficially Graduated!
Karmi, Roszene, Me, Pearl, and Kat
Photo courtesy of Kat
Kat, Roszene, and Me
Kat, Roszene, and Me

Unfortunately, even if the Graduation Ceremony was so much fun (all three speakers were fun and inspiring), I still felt pretty bad. I do believe I worked so hard on all of my years at college, yet I sadly didn’t pick up a single award. Don’t get me wrong, I was a constant Dean’s Lister. What pulled down my class standing is that I got a 3.00 grade (in American standards, that’s a C) in a minor elective I had to take if I wanted to graduate on time. (It was a Programming subject and it really was NOT part of my Major. Due to limited electives and their availabilities, I had to settle with that one.) In order to qualify for the honor roll, a student shouldn’t have a 3.00 under any subject.

However, like all the failures I’ve encountered in my life, I tried to keep my head up high and smile for all the deserving Awardees (all my friends got awards so yay for them!). After the Graduation Ceremony, my parents and I headed to the Todd English Food Hall for dinner and Magnum Cafe for dessert.

With my mom at Todd English Food Hall<br /><i>(My dad was in the bathroom when we took this photo)</i>
With my mom at Todd English Food Halll
(My dad was in the bathroom when we took this photo)
US Hanger Steak with Bone Marrow
US Hanger Steak with Bone Marrow
Dessert at Magnum Cafe
Dessert at Magnum Cafe

You see, in my family, we celebrate failures as much as we do with successes. After all, these failures are proof that we’ve learned something. They also bring us one step closer to that future Eureka moment.

In relation to that… I knew that I wasn’t going to win an award because we practiced the awards portion during our Graduation Rehearsal two days prior to the Ceremony. Because of so, I decided I’d use a special design for my Graduation Cap. It’s from an artwork I made during my stay in college and it’s one that is very important to me. I made it at a time when I was feeling down.


I hope you too don’t let failures get in your way. I believe it will be worth it in the end for all of us who choose to push through.


Kaela is an Illustrator and Graphic Designer who draws inspiration from her quirks, childhood nostalgia, and pop/sub-culture.

6 thoughts on “Graduation

  1. This is just my opinion, but I do not see what you have accomplished as a failure. You have graduated which is something that is so incredibly cool! Not everyone is able to get that far and you should be proud of yourself for sticking with it! One day I hope you are able to look back and see that it didn’t matter if you got an award or not, because you have been able to continue to make your great art and have a career you are really happy with.

    Congratulations. <3

    1. Thanks! 😀

      I do agree that the graduation is an achievement in itself. But you know, I was just SO CLOSE to getting an award. I really felt in my heart that I’d bag a shiny award for the first time. I thought now was the time I could prove everyone and myself wrong since I was always known as the kid who didn’t do well academically.

      But I guess the important thing is I did my best. Honestly, I’m quite over this problem already since it’s been a little more than a week since the ceremony happened. I’m just feeling positive right now for the future. XD Thanks again for the nice words, Kya! 🙂 Really appreciate the cheering up! I will keep up the good work. 🙂

  2. Congratulations! You still accomplished a great deal just by finishing school. 🙂 Awards aren’t a measure of your intelligence or your worth. I think you did very well!

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂

      Yes, I agree about that bit on awards. I’m usually the type of person who doesn’t let grades define me, but even I sometimes need to remind myself that awards/grades are just that: small academic titles. These probably won’t be much of a big deal, say 5-10 years down the line.

      Thanks again, Raisa! Really appreciate the compliment.

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