Sammy Nickalls
May 21, 2015 5:45 am

Graduation is a celebration that is (understandably) SO important to so many young college students. After all, you’ve worked so hard for your degree for years and years, and finally, you get to see the fruits of your labor, together with all of your friends, peers, and teachers that you’ve got to know throughout your university career.

So when Guilford College senior Juliet Smith went into labor on Friday, the night before her graduation day, what would normally be a moment of her life filled with supreme joy became bittersweet. Think about it: she gets to bring her baby boy into the world, but she misses out on one of the biggest rights of passage of young adult life. We’re feeling ALL the feelings just thinking about it!

Juliet was out with her parents for a celebratory grad dinner when she suddenly felt a pop, according to ABCNews. It was two weeks before her due date of June 9th, and she had to be up for the ceremony at 7:30 the next morning. By 11:57 that night, baby Milo was born—but Juliet wasn’t well enough to be able to attend the ceremony. “I was kind of bummed out all morning sitting in my hospital bed and at the same time couldn’t be that upset because he was so perfect,” she told ABCNews.

Little did Juliet know that her university had a celebration of their own stored for her. They staged a special commencement ceremony at the hospital, wheeling her down the aisle in her grad cap and gown as she held baby Milo in her arms.

One professor brought his tuba and played “Pomp and Circumstance”. . . followed by “Happy Birthday” for little Milo. They even brought Guilford College bibs as a graduation present. OMG.

The featured speaker at the commencement even showed up and gave a 20-second version of his speech (because let’s not forget that Juliet was EXHAUSTED after being up all night, you know, giving birth).

“It means so much that the Guilford community would do this for me,” Juliet said after the ceremony, according to a statement on the college’s site. “It really just affirms that Guilford was the right college for me.”

Milo’s arrival in the world wasn’t exactly timed how she had been hoping. . . at least, initially. “I was so mad at him. And then I was upset with myself, because I didn’t want my first feeling toward my first son to be anger, but I’d been so excited to be a part of Commencement for so long,” Juliet explained, according to the statement. “This was not at all how I was expecting this weekend to go, but I feel like that’s usually how life works. It never seems to work out in the way you expect it to. But he’s the best graduation present I could ever ask for.”

We love this story for the amazing faculty and students who came to support her, as well as Juliet’s amazing outlook. And, of course, we love Milo. Can’t forget about baby Milo!

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