Completing your degree will send you through a plethora of crazy thoughts and emotions. Claire Ince shares her experience to prepare you for what is to come.
Your final year of university has probably been one of the most intense and anxiety-inducing times of your life.
Sleepless night after sleepless night, you are in a constant battle with the little piece of your mind that has always wanted you to quit out of fear for this exact moment.
But you never do.
You push on because you know how close you are to holding the very thing you have been working towards for your entire life thus far.
But, my dear friend. You haven’t seen anything yet.
You are about to experience an incomprehensible collection of emotions over the next couple of weeks. I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re only just getting started.
The Final Week
Your final week of university will feel incredibly bizarre.
On one hand, the assignments you are currently completing will be the most difficult that you have ever had to produce (speaking of which, if you haven’t started yet, please do it sooner rather than later) so you are stressed beyond belief.
But on the other hand, you are overcome with sadness, nostalgia, and extreme happiness as you reminisce about your time with your peers.
You will probably laugh.
You will probably cry.
But one thing’s for sure- you will never forget these days.
The Final Class
The final class will likely feel nothing short of bizarre.
You will do approximately five minutes of actual work, before your tutor/lecturer delivers a casual motivational speech, and congratulates you for “knowing so much” and/or “making it to the end”.
Through the entire speech, you and all of your classmates will agree externally, but on the inside, you will be more confused than ever.
“But like, I haven’t actually learned anything.”
“I’m the same person that I was three/four/five/six years ago.”
“What am I even doing here?”
The Final Assessment/Exam
After your final class, you’ll probably give yourself a teeny tiny break before freaking out and finishing your assignments/studying for your exams.
And no matter whether this happens at your desk at home or in the great hall, one beautiful moment will ultimately happen.
You’ll start writing, and freak out so much that for a couple of minutes that you can’t anymore.
But then, all at once, it’s like your entire degree clicks itself together inside your brain, and everything suddenly makes sense.
You’ll realise how much you’ve learned (aka, a lot).
You’ll realise that your perspectives and thoughts about the world around you have completely changed from when you started your degree.
And finally, you’ll realise that every stressful day that you’ve endured has been worth it.
Pressing “submit” or walking out of the exam room for the last time will be an emotional moment, and you’ll remember it every day for the rest of your life.
Waiting for Your Grades
And just like that, the moment is over.
“What if I’ve failed?”
“What if I’ve failed the entire degree?”
“I can’t stay for another semester!”
“Maybe I should drop that course just in case I somehow failed.”
“Did I even do the program right? *checks program handbook again*”
“What if I’ve done all of this for nothing?”
“I’m over this.”
Getting Your Grades
Just like that, you have a degree.
You might scream.
You might cry.
You might laugh.
But it doesn’t matter. You have a degree now.
And now you have to figure out what you’re going to do with your life.
Good luck with that.