As of Friday, the Class of 2019 graduated, including some of my friends and acquaintances. That marked the end of another school year, and it places me with one more year before I graduate myself which leaves me with many conflicted feelings.
I love college. It is a place where I am partially self-sufficient and autonomous, living in a space that is sort of my own. I get to learn about a variety of topics across many fields. There are many opportunities to gain unique skills and meet a plethora of people all in one compact area, all easy to reach in walking distance.
However, I am curious to see what life is like without homework and exams, where my constant quest to learn and gain knowledge is not always graded and finalized in a grade point average. I wonder what it is like not to wake up at all times for classes. Though I suppose future life would be similar to all that with a job to wake up for, assignments and tasks dealt and expected with deadlines and evaluations. I have one more year to make the most of my college experience.
I did not do a lot of the things many others my age do in college: go to parties, drink, date, experiment, et cetera, and I still do not want to because those are not the things I think are living a little or letting loose personally (that's reading a good book for me). The risks I like to take are the ones that put me out of my comfort zone and force me to grow in some way. I want to do things that teach me something.
I have decided to throw myself into some obligations before I lose the chance to, such as ballroom dancing, having started to compete and having become a member of the executive board. I started learning another language, Chinese. I upgraded my Humans Vs. Zombies arsenal and plan to kick butt next semester, and there is more I expect to tackle because I want to do all I can before I graduate.
I do not know what I will do afterward, so I am controlling my now because the internal debate between graduate school and a gap year is ever waging.
If you are graduating soon, I hope you do all you want to do and all you can do. Try something new, learn something more, and make the most of the time you have left.