Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thoughts on Graduation

I'm a few hours away from my last ever final. My final, final. Unless I end up in graduate school down the road. That being said, all year I have been terrified of graduation. I love it here and UNH has meant so much to me. I've learned a lot, about the world, politics, history and other various things I took courses in. But perhaps most importantly, I learned a lot about myself.

As graduation has rapidly approached over these last few months I had thought that I would become increasingly anxious. And surprisingly, I haven't.

It's May 16th and I haven't had a mental breakdown, an anxiety attack or anything like I thought might happen last August. Recently, I've even become more and more positive about graduation.

They way I look at it, the past four years, and really my entire academic career, I have been doing meaningless work. Other than bettering my own intellectual mind, the work that I have accomplished up until this point in my life is pretty bland. I'm just one person. My senior colloquium, exams and final papers that I have tried to do well one my whole career really mean nothing. Especially once I have my diploma.

But all of that changes on Saturday. On Saturday I, and the rest of the UNH graduating class, will no longer be students. We will no longer be charged with completing meaningless work under the concept that an "A" is good, a "C" is average and an "F" is a failure. But we will become active, contributing members of society.

Now whether that means we will be school teachers, accountants, lawyers or doctors down the road, lab workers, journalists, laborers, a cubical monkey or work in social services among the dozens of other options, we will no longer only be working for ourselves. Even the most greedy CEO does work that benefits others (even if it is just the people right below him). The point is, we are no longer working just for ourselves, our own personal grades. Even if we are just working for money, to get rich, we will still be contributing in many more ways than we do now.

Of course, first we must find jobs. That scary "J" word. There are jobs out there, I believe in them. It is not a myth. Sure, we will probably have to start at the bottom and work shitty entry level positions, but we all have to start somewhere.

So, UNH class of 2012, let's take these last few days we have here to celebrate our memories. But the way I look at it, our freedom isn't ending. It's only just beginning.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

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