I successfully and officially obtained my master’s degree at a rather cheerful event. For some reason, alumni of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels attend their graduation ceremony in the winter instead of the summer. I don’t have any preferences in this matter, so I was only grateful that I was able to wear my suit. Besides the outfit, I was looking forward to refresh my Belgian memories and to reunite with my international friends.

Since I already moved to Prague, it was also a reunion with my family, who all came to Brussels to celebrate this significant milestone in my life. I’m glad that my studies are over, but simultaneously I miss the times of being a student. Moreover, I realized the slightly definitive nature of this gathering as I’ll probable never study again. But never say never, right?

The ceremony itself was inspirational. Adam said it wasn’t even a boring one. We heard several motivational speeches, among which, one was significantly memorable. The guest speaker was a young, black, beautiful and smart Belgian woman, who has recently become a Belgian politician. Despite her age and race, she has become a leader in her country. She has seemed fearless and empowered by her identity and was pleased to share her confidence with the audience. Her words encouraged everyone to believe that the graduation is only the beginning of the life journey and that our life goals will be achieved. Well, let’s hope she didn’t fool us.

Besides the motivation, we couldn’t wait for the moment, when we’ll be invited to the stage to obtain our diplomas. But, it didn’t happen in a way I imagined. We weren’t asked to come forward individually but as a group and I only later realized how smart it was. The audience didn’t get a chance to get bored and we avoided those embarrassing minutes of not knowing how to receive the loudest applause. After the ceremony, we took some proud pictures and relocated to the reception in the university restaurant. Members of my family were thrilled by the fact that they can dine in a same restaurant as I used to.

When I think about the precious moments I collected in Brussels, I smile. And I’ll keep this smile while receiving refusals of my job applications. Furthermore, the enduring reminder of the successful stay in Belgium is my new tattoo of the name of my former street. The pictures bellow should demonstrate the fancy nature of this fancy event (just kidding).

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