A few days after this issue is printed, I’ll be a McMaster alumna. I’ll have crossed the stage at the FirstOntario Centre, I’ll have shaken Patrick Deane’s hand and I’ll have a degree. This has been something that I’ve been looking forward to for four years, so why am I so anxious about it now?
Prior to this past year, there had never been a time where I wasn’t looking forward to graduation. That’s not to say I haven’t had some of the best of times over the past four years. I’ve been lucky enough to be met with some incredible opportunities, meet phenomenal people and to be able to learn how to think much more critically. But a mix of the late night cram sessions, caffeine induced tear-fests in Thode and the general pressure of pursuing an undergraduate degree while working full-time often got the better of me, and I couldn’t wait to get out of here.
Fast forward to fourth year, where I’ve spent the better part of these past twelve months grappling to make sense of leaving university. I still absolutely haven’t, and am unsure when or whether it will make total sense to me. I genuinely don’t want this to be over.
It’s an exciting time, most definitely, being faced with this much opportunity. As the class of 2018 is facing the inevitable fate of questioning what’s next, we’re also faced with a chance to write our own narratives and to own the experience that comes with this big step.
It’s also our time to be reflective. How have the past four years changed me? Where do I want to be four years from now? Am I ready for what’s next?
I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, and the fact is that at this very moment, I don’t have to.
Now, more than ever, is the time to take this opportunity and run with it. It’s our time to take the jump in the deep end, not knowing where our feet will touch. It’s our time to take the long way home, to purposely get lost and to find our way back with more stories under our belts.
It’s our time to live these mega cliches and to experience life on our own.
There is no universal plan and honestly, that’s the best part. The world is big and the anticipation of finding out what it has in store for us is overwhelming. But that’s the point. The endless possibilities that come with life after Mac are ours to explore.
While I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling to make sense of it all, the fact is that we’re in this together. We’ve made it through these past four years with resiliency and there is no doubt in my mind that we’ll keep shining for years to come.