When it came to writing this week’s post, I must admit I had difficulty determining what exactly I was going to write about. As the semester draws to a close, “life at U of T” is more or less winding down as classes end, students begin hunkering down in Robarts for hours on end and campus organizations begin making preparations for next year’s activities. I am myself writing this post in-between working on two major assignments, with my calender rife with red ‘ASSIGNMENT ‘X‘ DUE TODAY’ ink — I don’t expect I’ll be getting much sleep over the next three weeks.
I ended up deciding to write about fun. More specifically the anticipation of fun to be had in the future — once we all can finally close our course books and breathe the fresh air that is the freedom of leisure time.
That is ultimately what we are all striving for, right? The opportunity to lounge comfortably. All of our hard work, all of our efforts, sleepless nights, stresses, tears, anger, frustrations, can be grounded in our desire to pursue something for its own sake because we wish to pursue it. This is true in the immediate context as well as in life generally.
For many, the summer months encapsulate this idea. From May to August students everywhere relish in not having to commit themselves to coursework, stress over exams, or write assignments. They can more or less do what they want when they want and put their “academic” or “professional” life on hold for a few months. This situation is somewhat less true, however, for graduating students like myself as we must supplement this time we feel we should be devoting to leisure — something we have in all likelihood done for as long as we can remember — with figuring out the rest of our lives. Perhaps this contributes to some of the fears that many graduating students currently hold. (For a great post on this topic you should read Sarah’s ‘Post-Grad Blues‘.) Feeling not only fearful of the unknown — or “what comes next” — in addition fearing that whatever does come next necessarily lessens the amount of ‘”free” time we have available to us. I’ve said it before; growing up sucks.
And yet, despite how sucky it may be, we have to intelligibly keep our wits about us. While we have to be mindful of what our lives will look like post-June 2013, we cannot let it occupy our every waking moment. The idea that “free” time exists is misplaced; there is no such thing. All time is precious and all time should be spent in pursuit of whatever makes you happy. This isn’t to say that hardships and roadblocks won’t emerge along the way in pursuit of your happiness — again, growing up sucks — but such things are more or less inevitable and are a part of the vigor of life that makes living so interesting in the first place.
To the graduating students out there who may be feeling lost, confused, hopeless, or useless: Be confident in the skills and abilities you have gained through your time at U of T and seek to succeed in life, whatever it throws at you. You are smart, you are resourceful, and view an unclear future not with fear and disdain but with opportunity — an opportunity for you to leave your mark, pursue leisure, and be happy.
Life is, after all, what you make it.