Two years ago, I officially completed my undergraduate degree and graduated from UBC! It’s hard to believe how much I have grown during this time, and even how much I have changed since last year, when I was celebrating one year of being graduated. I definitely feel I have become a lot more settled in my role over this past year, and in being an ‘adult’ in general. Two years later, a lot of mental health battles and necessary boundary-setting, changes in relationships and housing situations and more – and I am grateful for all of it. I finally feel as if I am settled and content with where I am, which is a really good feeling!
One of the big additional reasons to celebrate this year is that I have fully paid off my student loans! I was not expecting to have paid off my loans this quickly. However, due to the pandemic, I have been living at home for quite a few months (getting close to a year now!) and have not been paying rent. I was able to save up the money I would have spent on rent and other living expenses, and put it all towards my loan. I recognize most people are not in this position and don’t have this opportunity, and I am so grateful to have been able to do so, especially in this very short timeline of only two years after graduation. It’s a big milestone that I am definitely taking the time to celebrate!
Some of the graduation excitement was also re-ignited this year, as my sister and my cousin both graduated from UBC this spring. Though ceremonies are not happening in person and will be virtual this year, we had the chance to celebrate all together outside. It is honestly so shitty that after so many years of hard work, they aren’t getting the in-person ceremony that they deserve. But, we made the best of it and still took the chance to celebrate in the ways that we could. For the both of them, it has been four-five years of many ups and downs. University can definitely be a wild ride, but they made it out the other side. I am so so proud of them for achieving this major accomplishment – especially in the most challenging times!! We cannot wait to see all of the incredible things you will do next. <3
All of these changes got me thinking about how a lot of stress and anxiety can come up post-graduation, as you transition from what many of us have known for most of our lives (being in school) to entering the working world (for those not pursuing grad school). It definitely was a big adjustment for me, and took a lot of time to get used to – and many times it is something that I still feel like I am adjusting to. Adulting is hard!! With time though, it gets easier, and new challenges and opportunities arise. What I hope all new grads know is that the transition will take time, and that’s okay – you are allowed to take as much time as you need to adjust to your new lifestyle. I hope you do not feel too pressured to have everything figured out right away – none of us do really! But especially during this transition, there is no need to rush. You have lots of time to determine what the best path forward is for you, whatever that may be. That path may be an adjustment, but over time, you will get to the place that you are meant to be.
Graduating from university, or any type of additional education, opens up a world full of opportunities. Two years later, I am more grateful than ever for those opportunities. I am looking forward to where they will bring me next in my journey. I remember at this time last year, I said that I didn’t have everything figured out and was trying to accept that it’s okay to feel that way. Nowadays, I feel like I will probably never have everything figured out – and that’s okay! It’s part of this journey of life to be constantly changing, growing, learning, and evolving. And that’s a journey that I am pretty damn excited to be on. <3