Photo Credit: Joshua Hoehne via Unsplash

 

Believe it or not, there is life after university. 

 

Remember when you were in high school and the only thing your future consisted of was university, college, or entering the workforce?

 

Assuming you are a Brock student reading this, that bright red letterhead and Badger logo seemed like the only thing your future consisted of. 

 

When you saw Brock on the horizon, you no doubt pictured the parties in Village, the rowdy basketball games, the late night study sessions with your new-found friends and opening your admission confetti as you walked across the stage at graduation. Your future was so bright, certain and stable; your determination and passion could be solely focussed on being a Badger and your academic success.

 

Although it felt like both a lifetime ago and just yesterday at the same time that I came to Brock, I am now finishing up my time here. 

 

As I am completing my undergraduate degree, there is a certain weight that pushes on my shoulders about life after. What is there after I conclude my time here at Brock, lock the door to my student house for the last time and hug my housemates goodbye? I wonder about the world after I log off Sakai for the last time, submit my last assignment and throw out my beaten up student card.

 

On top of all of those questions, we are all trying to fathom the after part of a pandemic. What will life after COVID-19 look like, better yet… will there ever be an, ‘after the pandemic’?

 

I wish I had considered ‘the after’ sooner rather than later. Sure, I thought I was going to be a teacher, but I was primarily focused on university, not the result. I was focused on the shiny lights, bright red backpacks and the romanticized idea of moving out and attending university. I was focused on in-class placement, lousy assignments, meeting average requirements and maintaining a social life.

 

Surprisingly, a lot of my upper year friends are in the same boat. We all had unwavering myopia. Many of my peers plan to stay at Brock, move back home or continue their education elsewhere, yet I still find none of us are really considering that more existential after question. 

 

I urge you to consider the harder, sometimes upsetting questions that go along with considering after. I have started to make peace with my after, even though there are lots of unknown variables. 

One thing I can assure you of is that there is an after. Your life does not cease to exist just because your time at university is ending. There is plenty waiting for you in the unknown after, so let’s embrace it.