By: Manveetha Muddaluru
I think there is some truth to it in terms of how I’m feeling lately. With my plans for life after graduation still up in the air and the ups and downs in the weather over the past few weeks, I’m am finding it difficult to focus on the present and have instead been staying at home as much as possible daydreaming about the future and warmer weather.
Apart from wanting to escape the winter weather, I’ve actually been looking forward to this upcoming summer for over a year now. The one thing that has constantly been on my mind since third year has been graduating. At the time, I was in the process of switching programs and felt unmotivated and fed up with being at university. When I finally found a program I was interested in, I was stressed out about all the requirements I had to meet in order to graduate. To cope with this, I decided to create a graduation countdown in fourth year and ever since I’ve waited for the day that I would see a double-digit number of days I had left in my undergrad. As of today, I have less than 75 days left, but the expectations I had of what I would be feeling are completely different than the reality.
The fact that I don’t have anything planned for the summer and the future should be exciting because, for the first time since graduating high school, I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want. This was all that I had been looking forward to for the past few years, but now that the end is so close, I can’t seem to shake off this sinking feeling in my stomach. I’ve realized that the root of my worries is due to my lack of sense of purpose. I know thinking about your purpose in life isn’t necessarily the most fun topic to ponder about, but from working on the Planned Happenstance Project, attending the President’s New Year’s Levee for graduating students in the first week of classes, and taking HTH SCI 3T03 Inquiry into Work, Self, and Purpose (highly recommend the course!), this idea of “purpose” has consumed my thoughts for the past few weeks.
I have also realized that this transition is scary not only because I don’t know what’s to come, but also because come May, I will no longer be a student. It’s daunting to realize that this comfort zone that I have created for myself at Mac is coming to an end. It feels like I’m losing a part of my identity. Although (as cliche as it sounds) we are all students of life, being a student in an institutional setting has been my primary occupation for the past 19 years. My main goal was to pass my classes so I can graduate and move onto the next level of education. I’ve only thought about what’s to come in the next semester and now to be thinking about what’s to come for the rest of my life and having no plan is daunting. It feels like a blank canvas. For now, all I have planned is my convocation in June and a concert in September. But I’ve come to the sudden realization that I’m losing a part of my identity as a student. This weekend, as I walked through campus I realized I will never experience how beautiful campus is in the summer or all the leaves changing colours during the fall this upcoming year.
But I’ve also realized that although it is a big transition, there have been many other transitions that I’ve survived in the past five years and unexpected things I’ve adjusted to, and I’ve come out more confident. Even if I thought I had a sense of where my life was going, it completely changed and I am happier now because of it. Taking a leap into the unknown and having the courage is scary, but so were many other things. Even if I didn’t end up where I planned, there was a lesson I learned and it has led me to where I am today.
Manveetha Muddaluru blogged about her student experience for the Student Success Centre from 2018 to 2019.