Nearing the last leg of my last semester in college, my days resonate with echoes of the words ‘farewell’, ‘future plans’, ‘what’s next’ and the like. While I happily dodge such questions by humorously stating that this is an erroneous question to be put to a final year student, at the same time I realise it is indeed a prominent query and justifiably so. And that is when the reality dawns on me. After having the time of our lives, we have to graduate and abandon the routine of running late for lectures, finishing assignments at the last moment, and turning up to internal examinations thoroughly under-prepared.
And here’s what it is like when you know you’re about to graduate from college and into an uncharted territory – it is scary. I can’t think of a better way to put this. It is scary to say goodbye, knowing full well that as all the friends venture out to pursue their own plans, staying in touch might be difficult after all. It is scary to think of a new setting, a new role that you’ll be playing.
And most of all, it is scary to make decisions that are supposed to define your life. There hasn’t been a thunder storm, there hasn’t been any epiphany – how are 50,000 students supposed to have the defining moment of their lives simultaneously? It is scary when everyone expects you to have figured out your career plans, your goals. It is scary to think of the impending farewell speech you have to give in your department/society farewell. It is scary to think of all the goodbyes you’ll have to say, and pretend to be okay with moving on. It is indeed the practical thing to do – brace yourself for the life ahead, and move on.
But, it is also important to know that it is okay if you feel emotionally drained at the end of it all. It is okay if you think it will be unbearable for a while to not wake up with your roommate. It is okay if you think you’ll miss the thrill of bunking lectures on a whim. It is also okay if you think you will not miss much of college where you practically missed one lecture to prepare for the next. It is okay if you will miss everything so much that you’re taking a year off. It is also okay if you will miss none of this. It is scary to let go of the things and people you hold so dear, but it is still okay. It is scary to lose the one reason to meet your friends every day. It is scary to look back at the three years that have passed by and think about how you could’ve done so much more. It is scary to look back and think that you’ve lost so much time and of the numerous different ways you could have spent your undergrad days.
It is so scary that even this article which wasn’t intended to be a tear-jerker, ended up being one.