As the end of the final semester of my degree approaches, I’m feeling more anxious than I ever have, including the time I read the English Romantic poets for the first time. For four years, my life has revolved around the final goal of getting my degree, and now that it’s almost here, it doesn’t feel like I imagined it would. Don’t get me wrong, I know that I’ve worked hard for this and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do so, but I’m feeling more nostalgic than ever. It’s funny how looking back you can erase the long study hours and the many times you had to turn down social plans to finish essays and just remember the good parts: meeting new people, cracking a joke in class or the first time you syntactically analyzed a really complex sentence correctly.
Now everyone is expecting us to get an impressive job and for our life to take off, but the truth of the matter is that a lot of us will have to start our working life on the down low, taking what we can get with our limited work experience. Some of us want (or need) to go on to postgraduate studies. A lot of our classmates will move away, finding bigger and better opportunities elsewhere and we’ll be left with a limited circle of friends. The future is not so clear-cut and defined.
Although thinking about what’s next is scary and whatever comes after will inevitably be different, it’s just part of life. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my days going to class and worrying about finals. Now that would be scary. Change doesn’t necessarily imply that things will get worse. Now will be our chance to try new things, specialize in the area of study we want to work in, travel…“Adulting” isn’t too bad, or so I’ve heard. None of us has it all completely figured out, and that’s okay. The only way we’ll really know if things are working out is by going out and trying them. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes, as long as we learn from them.
So, as I put the finishing touches on my final project, and prepare for the last final exams, I’ll try not to stress, and neither should you. It’s key to stay calm and organized. As long as you have a rough plan of what you’ll be doing after graduation, be it taking a gap year, job searching or further studies, you’ll be fine. Focus on ending on a high note. It’s better to concentrate on your degree rather than worrying about what’s to come, which can affect your final grades. Find a way to deal with any anxiety you may be experiencing. It’s amazing how much better talking to friends and family makes me feel, but maybe you prefer yoga or just sitting down with a good book. And don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work!
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
-Henry David Thoreau
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