Sorry I haven't e-mailed to you in so long. I had finals and I wanted to spend a whole lot of time studying so that I didn't mess it up like last time. Good news!! I passed!! I did it!! I'm not a failure!
I'm sorry for the short notice, but the graduation ceremony is tomorrow. I'll text dad the details. I'm sure it's obvious, but you're both invited! It's been too long since I've seen you guys in person - this is gonna be great!! We're gonna talk tomorrow, so I'm gonna cut this email off here. See you then!!Love, Zachary
I'd done it! I'd graduated from college!! I may have forgotten to put on my graduation robes, and mom and dad might have been a little bit late, but I had a degree!
Mom pulled me into a hug the moment she left the building. It had been all to long since I'd felt that. Had I really been away for so long?
"I'm so proud of you, Zachie." She told me. I already knew that - she told me that all the time - but it was still rather comforting. I wasn't a failure. I'd made mom proud.
Dad came out a few minutes later. He didn't say it, but I think he got lost on the way out. We stood there and made small talk for a little while.
"So how's the garden?" I asked.
"Oh, it's fine. I just got a new trowel the other day, the old one finally bit the dust. But that's to be expected, I'd been using it ever since before you were born... but the old one was certainly better than this new one..." Dad continued to drone on about garden trowels for a good ten minutes. I listened patiently - it had been all too long since I'd seen him, and I couldn't just ignore him after all this. Besides, it was important to him, even if I had no idea why it even mattered that this particular trowel had too much of a dip in the middle of it.
Mom, however, seemed to be much less interested in gardening tools.
"Alright, Jonah, dear. That's quite enough of that. Why don't we stop and listen to what Zachie has to say for a moment?" She suggested.
Dad looked startled to have been interrupted. "O-oh. Right. So, Zachary, you have a degree. What do you plan on doing now? I'm sure there are a lot of employers looking for graduates with tech degrees, you have options..."
And there it was. The 'subtle' jab to go get a job. I knew dad wasn't trying to nag - he just wanted the best of me, and when he was growing up I imagine he would have had it pounded into his head that he needed a job as soon as possible. But he also didn't go out and get a job straight out of university - heck, he dropped out and walked away from a business degree specifically so that he could go marry mom and not be chained down to some office.
But he did have a point. A technology degree would look darn good on my resume. But... what if I still couldn't get a job after that? Lots of people just got a degree, including a whole bunch of other tech majors... their resumes would also look darn good, and they were popular and good at talking to people. They'd get all the jobs.
Unless I made my resume look even nicer! If one degree looked pretty, then two would look even prettier! And when I took the aptitude test the last time, I did get some extra credits towards a fine arts or physical education degree.... and nothing they could throw at me in fine arts could possibly be dangerous, right? That was just drawing and painting and stuff, right? No brain fryers there. Sure, I'd gotten those credits based on my cooking, but that didn't matter. Drawing sure looked easy enough.
"You're not going to get a job, are you?" Mom asked, as if she could read my mind.
I grinned like a child in a candy store. "I'm coming back here. Do you know how good it would look if I had two degrees? Nobody could turn me down then!"
Mom and dad exchanged a knowing look. "Alright then, dear. But do come home again for a little while first, okay?"
"Of course I will."
It didn't take long to pack up my bags before I was heading off home.
Somehow, even though they went home at the same time as I did, mom had already gotten changed and was playing guitar on the lawn and dad was on his way over to listen before I even got out of the taxi. How do they manage it? The world will never know.
Did you know that when you graduate university you get an extra trait slot?? I didn't. Well, Zachary's a workaholic now too. Just thought I should mention that.
Fun fact - it took Zachary three terms to graduate. Literally nothing worth screenshotting happened in the third term, though, so I just pretended it never happened.
Speaking of screenshots....