As each college year comes to an end, we inevitably reminisce on all we have done since we were landed back in UCC in September. Of our highest highs, and our lowest lows, our greatest achievements and our biggest flops. Although the year seems to pass in just the blink of an eye, a lot can happen in just nine months, especially during this period of our lives, where everything is malleable, and nothing ever quite stays the same.
Many of us, and especially those of us in our final year, are beginning to prepare for something new as we look towards a fresh start outside formal education. Life has never been so uncertain and exciting all at once. Some of you already have a ‘master plan’ in place that will move you nicely into the next stage of your life, but some of you don’t, and that’s okay too.
At this point in our lives, a new dialogue begins to emerge between our friends, families and peers. A whole new stream of questions are directed at us, ranging from, “are you going to do a masters?” and “do you have a job lined up?” to “when are you going to start making your millions?” and “what are you going to do next?”. These constant reminders of the changes that are taking place in life can be anxiety-inducing at the best of times, but especially when you don’t have any answers for any of them.
I guess that’s the joy of life. Although the immense level of change that we are faced with can be intimidating at the best of times, it also forces us to make decisions on things we may have been avoiding for too long, or things we might not have even considered before at all. We’re moving into a period of our lives where we can entirely choose how we spend our time, where we invest our energy, and to a certain extent where we live and what we do, without any major strings attached.
It’s a time of risk-taking and trying out all the things you might have been afraid to do before, with no pressure to succeed, and in some cases, no major consequences of failure. Now is a better time than ever to move to that city you’ve been dreaming of, follow through on the business idea that’s been playing on your mind, set up the café, find the perfect job, travel and explore. The world has always been at your fingertips, but especially now, as life branches out before you and you are met with no obligation to do anything in particular, but instead every opportunity to find what exactly sets your heart on fire
When people talk about the Summer of their final year as being the ‘last Summer’ they’ll ever have, it seems like they believe that you will suddenly be forced to find a stable 9-to-5 job. It’s as though the real-adult-life edition of the grim reaper pays you a visit at the end of August, and you’re whisked away into a life that you don’t necessarily enjoy or even want to be in. But the fact is that this is the best time of your life to do whatever-the-hell you want. It’s okay to not abide by the social convention to look for a stable job or life. Whatever you choose to do next, make sure it’s something you truly enjoy.