You did it! You still have a hard time believing that you achieved your goal, you finished your studies. You are now surrounded by people full of congratulations and well wishes, promptly followed by inquiries in regards to your future plans. Surely, now that you’ve been released from your educational handcuffs, you have your whole life mapped out!
I feel as though I’ve just checked off my biggest accomplishment on my “Life list” yet. It’s the goal I’ve been aiming for since I can remember, graduate university. It’s a value passed on by my parents, they insisted on us being educated, doing what we have to do to reach our dreams. I agreed and went ahead through a 3 year advanced college degree in Child & Youth work, only to graduate and attend 3 years of university for an advanced honours bachelor in Social Work. That’s 6 years of post-secondary education, 6 years during which my responsibilities have been focused on reaching my goal.
Now that it’s over, I can’t say that I miss it. The student life is one I chose due to opportunity and value. I did not for a moment enjoy the studying, the projects, the essays, any of it. Although I understand why it’s all necessary, and that everything I’ve learned (hopefully) will contribute into making me successful in my career, I hated every minute of it, always looking forward to it being all over.
Any plans I had past this goal seemed silly, far-fetched and unnecessary to reflect on, life started after school. I’ve had this mentality since I can remember, promising myself happiness and adventure. I’ve looked on as fellow schoolmates went on trips, traveled the world, started families and bought houses, while I remained, what felt like the same.
So I stand now, diploma in hand, a job starting Monday, and I’m completely overwhelmed by the amount of choices, opportunities, and big decisions in front of me. Financial, social, relationship, family. All of a sudden I have time for things, I can afford them and there are so many that I’m faced with constant choice, which I’d been without, using the student label as an excuse to not have to decide.
I suppose it is time for me to put on my big girl pants and start living this post grad life, acknowledging that the decisions I make define who I want to be and who I will become. As for the inquiries in regards to my plans, I say that I’m just going to go with it. Cars, houses, husbands, children, trips, jobs. I’ll welcome them as they arrive, and make the best of what I have.
I’m currently the happiest I’ve been in a long time, surrounded by family, true friends, love and stability. I’ve reached major goals and am currently basking in the aftermath of it all. Soaking it in for a rainy day, because we all know things get tough eventually.
Enjoy it post grads, you deserve it.