As I’ve been saying more or less endlessly these last few days on Facebook, Twitter and the like, today is my very last day of classes of my undergraduate degree. It’s a thrilling feeling, it’s a huge wave of relief, but at the same time it’s also pretty terrifying.
I’m finished with classes after today, have one exam on the 26th of April, and then the actual graduation ceremony is in June, I believe on June 10th. After that, I will try and become a citizen of the “real world.” I’m hoping this includes finding some kind of work, but even more imminently I want to move out of my house and into Toronto.
The last day of anything is always entirely bittersweet. I recall when I was about to do my final performance of the final play I’d ever act in in high school. A bunch of us seniors gave little speeches to the group as a whole, and it really didn’t take long before all of us began bursting into tears, even people who hadn’t graduated yet. There were so many hugs going around and so much sniffling I didn’t know if any of us would be in any emotional shape to perform. We all performed well, but that just goes to show how invested we all were in theatre.
I recall grad breakfast of grade twelve being a great near-end of the year, where grade twelves all dressed up a little and hung out together for the entire day. The speech from the then-principal was quite nice, and later we went around the school as if we owned the place, stopping to talk to all of our friends before heading off to do other things.
Even the end of my first year of university was more bittersweet than I thought. During first year in my program, we are divided into five classes of thirty people each, and we spend a year with our given instructor, 6 hours a week from September to April. As you can imagine, we grow close with our little group, and we grew unexpectedly close with our instructor as well. On the last day, after class, we actually went to a bar and ate (or drank, if we were old enough; I wasn’t yet) with our professor. I still remember him calling me the “CP stud” (CP standing for Canadian Press; that year I got the highest mark of anyone in my program on the test of Canadian Press style) and then feeling like I was walking off into the sunset with a few of my friends.
Even yesterday was a little more bittersweet than I would have imagined. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my class and professor met at the CBC building and spent the last “class” listening to our final radio documentaries. As we got up, waiting to leave, it felt like no one wanted to leave until it was unavoidable. We had only spent twelve weeks with our professor, but we still felt attached to him.
God only knows what it’s going to be like when I graduate in June. I know my mother will cry. I don’t know how we as the graduating class will react. It will probably be tearful and celebratory.