Graduation 2018

Graduation 2018

Whatever comes next, we can handle it

David Carcasole  CONTRIBUTOR

Photo: University of Toronto Alumni.

 

Heading into 2018, every student is looking toward the future. Most students in their third year or lower are looking toward April — the end of their classes and exams so that the school year can finally end. For anyone in fourth year or above, thoughts are still toward the future, but in a very different way. We’re all looking toward graduation, and to what will come after that. If you have it figured out, then you probably sit in the minority, as it can be not only difficult for students to figure out their life after university, but downright terrifying. 

This is my 4th and final year at the University of Toronto (U of T), and going into this semester I started to feel, or at least wanted to start to feel, a little nostalgic for my time here. It was times like going to the Coop to hang out with friends from previous Orientations that made me realize that this is the last year that I can do this as a U of T student. Yes, I can always come back, but it just wouldn’t be the same. I’m happy to say that I’ve enjoyed my time at U of T and being a part of the St. Michael’s community, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it came with its ups and downs. Every university experience does, and not just academically. All in all, it has been an incredible four years. But now that it’s coming to an end, while I’m ready to move on, a part of me wishes it didn’t have to be over just yet. 

Looking to the future though, as we all must, is when things can become truly scary. Throughout the month of January, as with many other students applying to graduate programs, all I could think of was January 31: the final day to submit my application for the graduate school I am applying to. This is a common final day for graduate programs, and I know a lot of my friends spent the majority of their time working on applications for schools, some because they feel it really is the next best step for them, others because they just think it’s the thing that they need to do if they want to get a good job that pays well enough for them to survive.

It all feels very adolescent. Even though we’re not 17 anymore, it is still very easy to feel too young to be making choices that will affect the rest of your life. Grad school means more student debt, at least another year of being in school before you can start working, and for a lot of people, it could mean having to move to a completely different city (again). Now, this isn’t to say that we are not capable of overcoming all of the challenges we are going to face in the coming years. As convocation inches closer each day, we can take heart in knowing that we made it through U of T, which is not something to be taken lightly. Whatever struggles we have in front of us, we can get through, and the degrees we receive will be a sign of that. They will be something we can show the world as a graduating class that we graduated from the University of Toronto. So no matter what comes next, we can handle it. 

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