I do not remember if I have ever been more satisfied in all my life than on the day of graduation. I have certainly been happier, perhaps even when remembering that moment than the moment itself, because I was not even aware how beautiful it was. Perhaps I am happier now, knowing I did everything I could, but I have never felt more beautiful. So beautiful that on the very thought of it, emotions come over me, and the lack of words do not allow me to formulate a description that would fit such a situation.
Saturday, the 17th of June, the month of Ramadan. I feel excited while I am getting ready for the day I have been waiting for so long. I feel peaceful inside because exams are over, although I know that I will miss it all immensely. I will miss daily lectures, learning from the professors I got to love like friends, daily conversations and tea with my roommates, visits to useful events. Now I know I was right. Every moment is deeply fixed in my mind, every one of them is kept like a precious blessing in the box of memories, in my heart.
I am ready. For the last time I check if everything is in its place. My roommates, parents, and sister are there, encouraging me to happily welcome that last step. My colleagues from the same department are also there to take me over and help. We will, together, receive our diploma, our path has been the same.
The moment we come out on the stage has been waited for impatiently. My heart is full for I know somebody will be watching me, even though I cannot see them. A colleague mentions that there is a lot of people. We smile. Everybody is there because of us. Moving slowly, one behind the other, we take our seats, while they are watching us, while they are applauding to us, and are happy for us. The ceremony itself is wonderful. I enjoy every second. While I am waiting for my name to be called, my heart beats fast, my palms sweat. I know there will be somebody to help me get out on the stage, for the first time in my life I do not worry.
Everybody is waiting to hear their names called and see their picture on the big screen. Mobile phones are ready to mark that long-expected moment. Faces glow with smiles. So my turn comes. Like I have expected, one girl is beside me to help me get out.
When my name is called, I stand up. She is behind me, telling me where to go. I feel something is different. The applause is longer, the atmosphere has changed. The moment is special, and I am lost. I am not aware that it is happening to me. The dean and professors congratulate me, and while I am getting back to my seat, the applause still lasts. The colleague sitting next to me says to me that all the people present have stood up. I cry. They, nevertheless, know, they value and respect all these years of effort. Perhaps they feel how it all had been for me.
At the end of the ceremony, they announce the best students of every faculty, and the student of the generation. I think how beautiful the ones chosen must feel. I recognize almost every single name, I am happy for them and their families. I feel the girl who helped me beside me, I wonder why she has returned. In one moment, in a small bit of a second, I think that she might be there because of me, but soon I throw the thought away. I think how beautiful it would be, how happy I would be, more because of my parents than because of myself, how they would be proud of me.
As though my wish has been said aloud, the next thing I hear is my name. I stand up with disbelief, moving more confidently now as I know the way. Now I smile. Now I am aware what is happening. Now I am proud. But when I return to my seat, I am lost again. Too much happiness blocks all the voices around me. I think about my mom, who, certainly, cries of happiness. I think of the proud smile on my dad's face. I thank Almighty.
Many do not know how it was back then when I cried for days because I could not find a way to do math. Or back then when I could not find a book, and got a low grade on the quiz. Or all the long days I spent in my room typing out the lectures in Braille to study easier. Or how terrible I felt back then when a professor did not bring the exam on a USB, and I waited for days for him to decide what to do with me.
Many do not know how it is to feel equal, and the majority of professors have shown it to me. How happy I was when they did not exclude me, when they treated me like others. How happy I was when I could show what I can do. So happy when they gave me a chance. So immenselly grateful when I could do an exam with my colleagues on the time, not waiting, not worrying.
I cannot forget some things. Like when one girl, from whom I did not ask for help, took me under the elbow and brought me to the stairs so the others could praise her for a wonderful act. Afterwards, in the elevator, she did not even say hi. Or when one girl asked my former roommate if she had to bathe me, while I was standing there, thinking about all the things I would say to her, but I did not. Instead, I smiled and calmly explained to her everything about myself, while boiling inside. Now I am glad I acted like that. I try not to think about similar things, but they are coming. But, I will not write about them here.
Still, all the unpleasant situations, all the unhappy moments, all the tears, were forgotten in that single moment of endless joy. The moment they announced me as the third best student of my faculty, and when, for the second time, all the people present stood up and applauded, and were happy for my happiness.