Photo courtesy of Baim Hanif via Unsplash

Most fourth-year students are ending their undergraduate journey in less than two weeks.

Some students will pursue a post-graduate education while others won’t.

And for those who are not, the thought of possibly never going to school again can be daunting.

Since we were four years old, we’ve been students.

That’s 18 years of our lives dedicated towards learning, testing and attending class.

So there are definitely upsides to graduating.

It’s a relief realizing that we won’t have to wake up for an 8 a.m. lecture just to fall asleep in the classroom, pull an all-nighter studying for an exam, or ever have that back-to-school feeling after a relaxing summer vacation, ever again.

But the anxiety that comes from the realization that graduating officially marks the beginning of adulthood is nerve-racking.

Going forward, we won’t see our friends every day, we won’t be able to complain about our classes anymore and most of all, we won’t all have one thing in common: being a student.

This time last year, it was a given that the semester was ending, but we still had the comfort of knowing where we would be the next year.

We knew on some level where our lives were going and what we had to do to get there.

Now, we don’t.

Now we will be the ones telling the younger students to, “enjoy it while it lasts.”

No longer being a student is scary, and it’s important to prepare for what’s to come.

You are now in the pilot’s seat.

You don’t have to follow a strict system which seeks to define you based on your grades.

You won’t have to speak to your classmates that you secretly dislike.

You can choose what happens next.

Whether or not you’ve figured out what you want to do after these last two weeks, knowing that there are endless possibilities for you outside of campus and student-life can be liberating.

Being an adult doesn’t have to be daunting.

You have the ability to define the kind of adult you want to be.

Students have proven that they are capable of implementing change, so why not change the way society sees adults?

We don’t have to be these individuals who have their whole lives figured out.

There’s still room for self-discovery.

You are about to start a new adventure of figuring out your identity outside of being a student.

You will gain new experiences, a broader sense of self, and meet a variety of new people outside of school.

Everything that we’ve been through as students has helped shape who we are today and has prepared us for what’s to come.

So embrace this change with the strength and resilience that we’ve all learned throughout our academic journey.

We’ve been through a lot of stress and tears throughout the past 18 years and now it’s our turn to shine as adults.

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