I’d like to tell you that when I clicked the “Request Graduation” button on ROSI, four years’ worth of memories flashed before my eyes and I had a great slow-motion, nostalgic moment.
I’d like to tell you that I shared a screenshot of my intention to graduate on Facebook and got ALL the likes, or that when I saw the screen of my computer say, “You indicated earlier that you intend to graduate with a Honours Bachelor of Arts at the June 2016 Convocation,” I smiled and told my parents.
But in reality, when I decided to request graduation on a snowless December day, I was reminded to go into ROSI and click the button by someone else’s Facebook screenshot, so on ROSI I went.
Going on ROSI was my symbolic border between university life and that scary place that people not in school call the “real world”.
What this real world is, I can only speculate. After four years of going from class to class, essay to essay, and job to job, the real world sounds like a complete lifestyle change. I’ve been in school for 16 years. That’s about 80% of my life! What will I do without school?
My sisters have told me the real world is working a 9-5 and hoping to sneak some of my passions in on evenings and weekends to eventually fulfill my dreams. One of my bosses has told me it is where I will truly learn and solidify who I am; the real world is a place for exploration and discovery. My recently graduated friends say it’s a madhouse.
I’ve made one main decision about life after my undergrad: I’ve decided to take a year off to work and think about where to go from there, life, career, and self-wise. I’ve decided to take a year to figure my s**t out.
Last semester, I thought a lot about how far I’ve come from first year. I began university as an unsure, unconfident girl who questioned every action and required validation to be reassured of her decisions. I’d like to say I’ve “toughened up” through my experiences with customer service, old friendships and new ones, and the most important part, my involvement on campus. I hope that my post-graduation year brings the same sort of change in me.
So when I clicked the small blue rectangle that says “Request Graduation”, I had already thought about all of the things someone might be expected to think about and be nostalgic about during each year I’ve spent at UTM. I simply clicked the button, blinked, and went back to Facebook.
I don’t know what the real world holds for me. I’m anxious that I won’t find a job, I won’t keep in touch with my friends, and I won’t “find myself”, but more than anxious… I am stoked.
No more essays, no more six courses and two jobs, no more small talk in the hallways, and no more three buses to class! Call me idealistic, but the whole world will be mine to explore. I often find myself thinking, “What will I be doing exactly one year from this moment?”
The fact that I have no idea is one of the most exciting, adrenaline-inducing feelings I’ve ever felt, and I can’t wait for that new chapter to begin.