By Hannah

I’ve avoided this topic for a long time, so let’s just cut to the chase. This blog post is about the scariest thing I am going to do this year: graduate.

I know graduating is an achievement, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity for my education. But man, uncertainty is eating away at me. After high school, it was pretty certain I was going to go to university. Sure, there was a little bit of fear about whether I would get in, but I still had a path I knew I wanted to go down.

Then I got into university. Which also brought changes. It was my first time living away from my family and I had more responsibilities than I was used to. But there was still an institution that was, for the most part, making a lot of decisions for me. I wake up, I go to class, I have school resources available to me and there are very few changeable variables.

Graduands at convocation

Photo Credit: U of T Media Bank

But with graduation, things are completely different. My graduation marks the first time ever I have not had a path that was laid out brick by brick. I currently do not have any specific goals, rather a mosaic of dreams I am having trouble fathoming into reality. Grad school is an option, but I have yet to decide what area I’d focus on. But I simultaneously am unsure I want to spend my early twenties in school.

For the half of me that wants to go to grad school, there is another half that wants to grab a backpack and be a nomad for a few years. I want to travel the world, meet lots of people and soak in life. But I still need a job and to make money for that to happen, which I currently have none of. I am going to need to find a job first.

A picture of front campus with the CN Tower and Convocation Hall in the background

Through all of this, I am trying to keep myself in check. If I look at it logically, I know I will be okay and I will figure it out. The fear always ends up being far worse than the reality when you get to it. And maybe it’s cool that I have all these options. Graduating puts me in a lucky percentile where I get to choose; it means I can go to grad school if I want. I can travel. I can go straight into a career. For every uncertainty, there is opportunity. I’m going to try harder to focus on that.

Are you graduating this year? What are your feelings on graduation? Let us know on our Facebook page!

Disclaimer: A little bit of graduation anxiety is expected. But if you are feeling especially overwhelmed, utilize campus resources. The registrar, career centre and counselling and psychological services are here to make the transition as smooth as possible for you.