Friday was a long-awaited day for students graduating from medical schools across the nation.

Match Day is when students learn where they will take the next steps in their education, all at the same moment.

Students graduating from Upstate Medical University in Syracuse this spring learned their assignments at the Oncenter.

Gavin Ajami studies physical medicine and rehabilitation. He said today was a day he's been anticipating for a long time.

"I haven’t slept in like four days," he said. "It's been hyped up in my mind for four years now."

Ajami said with the stakes so high, it was tough not to be nervous.

“They hand you an envelope telling you where you’re going to be for the next four years of your life, so for a bunch of type A personalities, it’s interesting," he said.

Ajami’s residency turned out to be with Emory University Medical School.

“In this case, I had no idea where I was going to end up," he said. "I was really happy with all of my options, so I knew I would be happy no matter what. But I’m really, really happy with how it turned out.”

The day is not just for the students. It’s also for their families.

Ajami’s mother, Susanne Greelish, was there beside him as he opened his envelope.

“All I ever wanted was for him to be happy wherever he’s going, and he’s real happy," she said.

While the pandemic struck during Ajami’s time at the university, he said he’s thankful the impacts weren’t as severe as they could have been.

“My year wasn’t as affected as the ones above and below me, because we were in the middle of studying for step one when the pandemic hit. So it sent us into quarantine, but we were already kind of in quarantine anyway," he said.

His education has allowed him to receive the training he said he needs to get started in the field that he's passionate about.

“You obviously get to work with very intelligent people. It’s constantly changing, so you’re always learning, and you get to help people, which feeds the soul," he said.