When I first started university, registration happened by standing in LINE. You manually filled out a form (with pen!), stood in line, and the nice ladies at the counter would tell you if you could get in or not. They didn't even have touchtone (anyone remember the carleton touchtoune lady?). And there was definitely no internet registration.
Contrary to this, to graduate from university, I logged into my Carleton Central account, clicked a button, clicked another button, and voila. I just applied to graduate. It even sent me a confirmation email! And then, just after the senate meeting to confer degrees, I logged in and lo and behold - a note! "Degree: Awarded".
How times have changed.
Today, a little over ten years from the day I took my first class at Ottawa U, I walked across the stage in a giant auditorium at Carleton, shook the hand of the school chancellor (first Canadian in space - woo!), and walked away with a piece of paper that I have worked really really hard for, albeit slowly.
Do I feel different? No. Do I feel richer? In piles of old term papers, maybe. But what I really feel is a sense of relief. This was the thing that not only did I hold over myself as a "to do list item left incomplete", but also the thing that other people admonished me to finish.
I'm happy I have it. I'm also happy that I can finally put a graduation year on my resume. But what I'm most pleased about is that no one in my family has ever done it before. We are not a family that is one of those "my grandfather went to queens, and my dad went to queens and my mother went to queens so I went to queens" families. Instead, we are an "everybody wished they went but nobody did" kind of family. And I wasn't going to let anybody else get to it first.
So yay me! And to all you current students - tuition gets more expensive the longer you delay! Finish quick.