A sense of nostalgia: graduation, endings & new beginnings

A sense of nostalgia: graduation, endings & new beginnings

Grab the Kleenex, look through your first-year photos, have a think about all your newfound responsibilities and weep. (Then get back up and finish your last assignment)

For many of us – including myself – graduation is fast approaching and undergraduate life will soon be no more.  Fresher’s week doesn’t really feel like three whole years ago now, does it?

They’re all things that shape you, regardless of how we initially perceive them

Long gone are the days of induction lectures, Dominos discount vouchers and signing up to an unrealistic amount of societies (that we may as well have never joined).  Whenever I find myself coming to the end of something – the end of the year, the end of college, the end of a really good series (lame, I know), I can’t help but feel nostalgic. And I don’t think I’m alone on that, especially when it’s as pivotal a moment as the end of university life. It’s not so much about what those fundamental three years has taught us academically – though that’s undoubtedly a lot – but also about what its taught us about ourselves. Three years is a long time – 1095 days, actually. 156 weeks. 26280 hours. I’m sure you get the point, so I’ll end there. The real point is, that within that time, a myriad of things can happen; life-changing things, minor things and also in-between things. But they’re all things that shape you, regardless of how we initially perceive them. I started first year two days after my dad’s funeral and when I look back and compare myself today, to who I was during that turbulent first year, I almost feel like a different person. And I’m sure that’s also true for everyone, seeing as we’re all constantly experiencing, growing and learning:

The Gratitude List: The Unspoken Teachers & Life Lessons

1) That one assignment that you were sure would single-handedly ruin your overall module grade but was in fact, your best work.

Real life lesson: Never underestimate yourself. Or the power of blagging.

2) Scanning a packed library and eventually finding a seat.

Real life lesson: Despite how swarming your chosen sector of work, you will eventually (hopefully), find a vacancy.

3) The post-Drapers/Bancroft-stairs/Central Line induced breakdown – or any other breakdown – that made you realise that you were in control.

Real Life Lesson: The way we feel and the way we think is usually entirely within our control. If you don’t like it, it’s changeable.

4) The two-hour seminar that you had to sit through every week, thanks to a regrettable module choice.

Real Life Lesson: This too, shall pass. Good and bad, happy and sad…

5) The endless amount of unrealistic expectations set, the failed daily routines that you promised you would implement into your life (usually after every semester break).

Real Life Lesson: Nothing has been or ever will be perfect and our expectations are not always attainable. And so let the cliché quote of the century stand proudly here…’just do your best.’

6) Minding the gaping gap between college and university

Real Life Lesson: Change is all around. And despite how odd it feels at first, you can and will leap, accept and adapt.

It’s odd to think that in a short while, life as we know it will be completely different. Some of us will be going into postgraduate study, some of us into the world of work and some might be figuring out their paths. But regardless of where you’re going or where you’ve been, the fact that you’re reading this means that nothing was big enough a deal to keep you from keeping calm and carrying on. While you may think that you’ve a lot to prove to yourself, whatever the future holds, you’ve probably already proven a lot. So here we are. If we look back with fresher-tinted glasses, we’d see that we’ve come a heck of a long way. That’s the unspoken accolade that comes with graduation.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end – Seneca

 

Image – Unsplash


Section: Features

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