This is my fourth year at Brock University. It was supposed to be my last, like how it is for many others. I wanted to be done post-secondary in four years, but I have a fifth year ahead of me because I took on a full-time job, meaning lighter course load.
For some, this is literally the end. The final university exam is weeks away and then they’ll be walking across the stage. Others are getting their final steps as first-year students —figuring out if university is for them or not or if their program is for them, or not. Then there are people finishing second and third year.
Either way, for everyone: we’ve made it. Yes, there is still some final assignments and exams left, however, if you have got this far, you’ve pretty much made it. The grind is pretty much over and the four months away from school —if you aren’t taking spring or summer courses – is around the corner. (Dreading our summer job or jobs will start soon, but at least we are making money).
Also, as much as it is the end, where has the time gone? This year has simply flown right by and I expect summer to be about the same. It feels like yesterday that first semester had just began and we were all hearing the “how was your summer” talk. That time will come again, real soon.
Some people take the end of the year as a time to distress and forget the academic year that was. However, use it as a time of reflection, and a time to improve yourself. Each university year — even day — is a new learning experience. It’s best to use your experience, your stories or your adventures as a time to grow.
People graduating are heading out into the real world, searching for jobs or whatever their next chapter maybe. The one’s that will be back here in September are just glad that a year is over, but it’s best to reflect, and start planning ahead.
If you take my advice to reflect on your year, use it to also plan ahead. As much as the year is over, the reason we come to university is to find our next path. It’s best not to leave that until the final year.
I think that’s one thing I learned, in my fourth-and-almost-final-year. As much as I have been living in the ‘now’, what is my answer to the future. What is it that I plan to do with what I’ve learned at Brock, what I have learned during my experience? I really had no answer, only to realize I can take my gained knowledge and the network around me to build my future.
The year is over, but don’t stop thinking. Reflect and plan. What is the next step for you? How do you get there? Lectures, seminars, assignments and tests are over, but your future is an ongoing process.
As my successor Steve Nadon put it in his final Editorial in 2016: “You chose your experience, and it is an experience you can be proud of. Hold it, live it, and embrace it proudly”. Also, you chose your future path, and it’ll only be successful if you put in the work. Use the summer to distress and relax, but don’t let it stop you from forgetting what your aspirations are during your time at post-secondary and beyond.