I have avoided writing this blog post because it is the end of a chapter in many ways, and quite frankly, I am not ready to turn the page. For once, I find myself at a loss for words…I am just as surprised as you are. 

As always, thank you for reading, and please bear with me one last time as I reflect on my Cambridge experience.

As I look back on my time at Cambridge, I can’t help but smile. This programme, this place, and these people have changed my life in ways I still can’t possibly know or appreciate. 

How can I find the words to express what this programme means to me? As much as I’ve tried to find an eloquent and succinct way to summarize it, I have realised I can’t. But, I have documented it – here. This blog details the experiences, the emotions, and the incredible people that made this something I don’t want to say goodbye to quite yet.

They say don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. 

I say that’s a grand trivialisation. 

Both coexist in my opinion.

Honestly, I’m not a fan of endings. I’m (obviously) too sentimental. I understand that we have to say goodbye so that we can say hello to new things, but goodbyes just aren’t fun. Especially when closing out a chapter as incredible as this one.

In many ways, I know it’s not truly goodbye. I’m still going to see classmates across the globe over the years, and I’m sure something will bring me back to Cambridge. I just don’t know when. That’s what makes the timing here feel more final.

This University of Cambridge graduation ceremony was extra special for me because I got to bring Jim and MD! They missed out on my Duke graduation in 2019 which was heart-wrenching for several reasons – My mom was battling cancer at the time and her whole team had worked so hard to make sure she would be able to travel to North Carolina to see me graduate, I was the commencement speaker, and that the reason they couldn’t get to NC was due to flooding in Texas. Flooding is a tough topic for the Dubberts and perhaps ironically (?) my Duke degree started with Hurricane Harvey and ended with another flood. So needless to say, we were all grateful that everyone could participate in this UK graduation, my last one…I think.

We left Houston on Wednesday and arrived in London early on Thursday. I showed them all the sights. We went to the Natural History Museum, Imperial College (what could have been), Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, and finally the London Eye. Jet lag, who? The evening ended at a pub, the proper British way.

Friday morning took us to King’s Cross where we ran into classmate, Cody and his family before hopping on a train to Cambridge. I showed my parents Cambridge Judge (CJBS), Ridley Hall (my accommodation), and Queens’ College. Even ran into my favourite Porter Kevin! It was so good to be back! In many ways, it felt like we had never left, but at the same time, it felt like the town was no longer ours.

That afternoon I was finally reunited with some of the greats, classmates, Rebecca and Emily. Saw the sights, ran some errands, and made sure to secure some of my favourite British treats (Colins) to take back to America. Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the first event of the weekend.

Jimmy and I planned another event, this time at the Union! Months ago we were talking about how we wanted to do something nice the day before graduation, we went back and forth on a small event and then just decided there might be wider interest in an event like this…and thus the dinner at the Cambridge Union was born. It was so good to see folks. My mom commented that night that I looked so happy, and I really felt it. Our class is a special group so it was lovely to meet everyone’s support systems.

We blinked and it was Saturday, which meant a 7:30am start time at CJBS for robe collection and a group picture. I am perhaps more fond of the class picture we took a year ago, but this one is beyond special too. Of course, it was a cloudy and rainy day in Cambridge (the driest part of the UK). It drizzled on and off throughout the day, and even the town seemed sad to say goodbye to us.

Our first reception was at Queens’ College, where we enjoyed a beverage in the Old Hall before being taught how to properly graduate. We walked from Old Court all the way to the Senate Hall and waited for the students from Jesus, St. Catz, and Christ’s to join us. We finally went inside for the most unique graduation ceremony that I have ever been a part of. The fellows reminded guests that clapping and cheering were not typically a part of the ceremony.

Degrees are conferred by College in the order in which they began at the university. When it is our turn we each take a pinky and walk up to get a blessing in Latin and then our degree.

After lots of pictures at the Senate House we walked back to Queens’ to enjoy a formal lunch in Cripps Hall. We were all exhausted at that point, but the food was as good as ever. After a quick rest, it was time for one final event at the Guildhall. The Cambridge MBA team planned an event for us and our guests with food and drinks. It was lovely to cheer on my classmates who got distinction and see which GCP project was the best.

Afterward, a few of us headed to the Trailer of Life for their delicious quesadillas with garlic and chili sauce. If you know, you know. Then the night ended at Town and Gown and before I knew it, we were all parting ways one last time.

Finally, it was Sunday morning and I was packing my bag, saying goodbye to Emily and Rebecca, and feeling verklempt. As Brandon said at Town and Gown, this feels more like goodbye than in August. In many ways, he’s right. 

It’s on us now. 

Graduation was our last university-sanctioned event until our five-year reunion. We have to make time for each other. We have to prioritise keeping these relationships alive and thriving. 

It’s funny that it all comes back to time. Is there ever enough time? Not when you’re having fun, and there’s arguably too much time when you’re not. I frequently wrote here how it always felt like we never had enough time. I suppose it’s all relative, but graduation was the first occurrence where I actually knew I didn’t have enough time. 

I didn’t have enough time to talk to everyone, let alone say hi to everyone. The time we were given was just too short. I’m sure there’s a bigger life lesson there, but we won’t delve into that now. So to everyone I didn’t get a chance to catch up with – I hope post-MBA life is treating you well and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to see y’all! Hit me up if you’re ever in Texas!

So for one last time, here’s to us. Here’s to the bubbles we made. 

We did it! We survived a fast-paced MBA programme and lived to tell the tale. We shared experiences with each other that no one else could really understand. We are forever bonded and I feel honoured to know each and every one of you. Thank you for sharing your stories and letting me be a small part of your lives. 

Until next time!

Space Girl signing off.