Once we flew back from our road trip, it was time to turn our attention to my graduation. After a quick haircut, I was ready to don my cap and gown and walk across the stage!
Graduation day was incredibly hot and humid so putting on the robe (borrowed, worn by who knows how many students before me) and zipping it up was unpleasant. Seemingly everyone’s muffin-shaped cap was too small, which was problematic because if it couldn’t be mashed far enough down on your head the top of the cap wouldn’t pouf up appropriately. I managed to exchange my cap for a larger size but then it was too big! Too big was much more comfortable than too small though, so I decided to just go with it.
Fortunately the ceremony was in the shade and we each got a bottle of water – important to prevent us all from passing out from fear and volume depletion as we walked the stage! As an “R” last name I had a long wait until my name was called, but it was exciting to receive my hood and hear my new title announced over the microphone – “Dr. Lauren Rafka.” After four long years it was wonderful to hear those words!
After the obligatory photos and a short walk over the reception hall, my family and I were all sampling the hor d’oeuvres and mingling with my classmates. It was weird to think that I might not see many of them for years, until a class reunion or alumni event. Although I had good friends in college, I feel like I’ll miss the friends I’ve made in medical school far more because we spent more time together and fought through more challenging circumstances. From anatomy lab to board study to tough clerkships and the residency search, we had a lot to discuss and complain about together! Hopefully we will all keep in touch over the coming years.
All too soon the day was over. I settled in to watch the National Spelling Bee and relax after a long and exciting day. Now the next big event on the horizon is our wedding in June! And then residency will begin…It’s going to be a wild ride!