As soppy and sentimental as that title sounds, it is true. I am approaching the end of my undergraduate degree at a, quite frankly, alarming pace! And suddenly, people are serious when they ask me what I want to do with my life, and it isn’t some far off fantasy. It’s now. My adult life starts in about … three weeks after my last exam and I have been to see Alice Through the Looking Glass as my reward.
It’s actually quite scary. I came to an abrupt realisation that university will be ending soon, and I wasn’t too worried about the fact it was ending(I am hoping to do a masters or further study anyhow) but rather that three years of my life have passed in the blink of an eye.
When I first started university, a nervous, fresh faced country girl living in the big city and just trying to be one of the boys, the end seemed so far away. Now, I understand about the human neurocognitive system, I could tell you how the brain codes vision and movement and language. I have learnt how to dance, and how to work as part of committee. I have learnt marketing skills, and I have been travelling. And first year Me, worried about making friends, seems so far away. But at the same time, I am amazed at how quickly three years have passed.
I was sat in the library the other day, revising with a friend from first year, R, when she sat back to stretch, and announced ‘that ceiling is really amazing’ (it’s really not, indicating the extent of her boredom following six hours of neuroscience revision). I laughed, and we sat on the grass in the sunshine to eat lunch, exclaiming ‘Why are there goats on campus??’ and listening to the clock strike the hour. And it felt as if someone had turned back the clock. I haven’t been able to see R much this year due to dancing and course commitments, but revising for our exams, it felt as if we were second years again. The middle year: where you know the grades count towards your final mark, but it’s only 10%. But you have nine exams and heavens isn’t that an interesting spot on the table? It was startling to realise that in a few short weeks, we will both be graduating, and going our separate ways. And I don’t know if we will still be friends in five, ten years time.
So, finishing university is equal parts terrifying and exciting. Its terrifying, because university is a big protected bubble, where you get to play at being an adult, but you aren’t really. It’s transitional. Graduating means fully embracing taxes and bills and controlling your own diet and exercise and a career and people asking when you’re going to settle down and have kids (which is a really quite terrifying prospect in itself). It means losing the safety net. But it also is exciting, for all of the above reasons. Its exciting because its an adventure, and you never know what is going to happen in the next chapter. You can plan, but you can never know (Unless you just so happen to be a seer, in which case, Kudos to you, hope your life looks pretty cool).
As I currently spend my days trying to cram as much information into my poor brain as I can, I am also wondering what the future holds (and, incidentally, sewing a blanket). All I hope, is that it will be a blast! And it is scary, approaching the end of three years and being presented with proof that time flies, and it has been fun. University has been stressful and anxiety inducing and nerve wracking, but I’ve had a ball, and I have learnt so much not only about psychology, but about myself.
Three exams, and then just the agonising wait for my results!