For those of us heading into our fourth and final year, it can be daunting thinking about what lies on the other side of one more year. In the chaos of it all, it’s important to focus on what’s positive about the end and the experience as a whole.
Back to school days are upon us in the post-secondary educational realm and with it comes a cauldron of feelings mixed so well we can barely distinguish between excitement and downright nervous breakdown.
So here are four reasons for you to get stoked on getting it over with.
Everything you’ve learned matters now.
Sitting in classrooms for three years can seem arduous, boring and mostly useless but, you know deep down that you’ve held on to the lessons from those lectures – otherwise you wouldn’t be in your last year. Now, you’ll be the closest you’ve ever been to the real work you’ll (hopefully) be doing when you graduate. Think about that for a second and tell me it doesn’t feel great: you have all the skills you need to start a career in a craft you love enough to have studied it for four years.
Suddenly all of those memories of sitting bored in a classroom for two and a half hours at a time turns into meaningful, valuable memories you will be looking back on for years to come. They’ll be the moments you have to refer to the rest of your life in order to prove yourself in the workplace.
You are the wise senior.
Not only does that knowledge give you the confidence and ability to strive once the final year is done, it makes you stand out amongst the underclassman. This isn’t just something to brag about – you get to be a mentor for a little bit. For the final year, for a brief moment, you may get to be the reason someone gets their final exam done or grasps a core concept of the field of study.
School knowledge aside there’s a chance to share the lessons you’ve gathered throughout the years too. You haven’t just spent almost 50K on sitting in classrooms. You’ve made friends, made lifelong connections and done seemingly life ending drunk stunts that are now just laughable memories.
Basically, the choices you made can be the reason someone else makes better ones.
Freedom at last.
Okay, you won’t have total freedom when you’re out. Like I said: You will (hopefully) have a promising job in a promising career by that time or at least have a position lined up. So, not complete freedom but, a set schedule you have a chance to make yourself or have a significant role in setting up.
Whether you end up freelancing with your work, going through an agency or a cushy office job, you now get to say what hours you’ll work, what pay you to want, what days you want – there’s room for negotiation! The school doesn’t give you that, it gives you material and tells you how when and where to use it properly. But you paid top dollar for that material and damn right you’re going to use it the way you want to get what you want. Freedom at last.
The time to discover what is really possible with that piece of paper.
I’m going into my last year in September and one constant I’ve noticed in three years is how often and how insistently the professors will glorify the craft they teach. And I mean, I don’t blame them. They have to be excited about it or else we wouldn’t be. Of course, there is always truth in their hyperbole about the subjects but they never really like to dwell on the negatives. The negatives are things you learn by yourself and when you graduate there will be a lot you will realize was not taught to you.
But there is something good to come out this. Life is about constantly learning. If you aren’t learning a lesson you aren’t living right. So when you graduate and you find out your Arts Degree or your BA in English won’t make you enough money or any money at all you’re going to learn from the stress that follows.
And I swear to you, you will find what you’re looking for. For your peers who will be doing swell and getting career breaks straight out of college, they’ll be learning the job isn’t as easy as the practical lessons they got in school. For you, the ones that got out and discovered it wasn’t for them, you’ll be finding some way to make it work better than you imagined it could before. Because you have to. Or else you won’t survive.