- Grace Anderson
Joy? Excitement? Fear? Sadness? How are you meant to feel on finishing your degree? Or perhaps you are watching your friends finish theirs and starting their lives and careers in the graduate world?
"The end of an era" you will hear people say, all the hard work has finally paid off, all the ups and downs of university life and you have came out the other end. You have done it and soon you will be holding your degree certificate in your hands or watching in awe as you friends pose in their gowns, and oh those silly hats!
Exams = complete, Coursework = done, Dissertation = finished
All these achievements and pride but ultimately sadness may kick in - your life as you know it is changing. It is time to move on. However, you don't need to end your university life; the amazing memories, achievements and friends are still there (no one can take them away).
Some people get their own place, some go travelling and many even move back into their parents' house and return to their home town. The possibilities are endless, so do what you want to do - in the clichéd term, the world is your oyster!
However, saying goodbye to the place that you have called home for several years is hard. More importantly, saying goodbye to the amazing friends you have made - those people you have lived with, partied with, laughed with and confided in, supporting each other through the fun times, not forgetting universities difficulties and academic pressures - it can be tough. The bonds you develop with these people makes you feel like they are almost family, because they have been by your side in your transition from adolescence to adulthood.
You are happy for each other, you have finished your degrees. But university is officially over and saying goodbye is not going to be easy. You have seen these people every day, day in day out and now you no longer live with them and probably have many miles between you.
However, a big part of life is change and it is something that sadly is unavoidable. The thing to remember is that it's not goodbye forever, you will stay in contact with the people who mean the most and grow apart whilst growing together at the same time.
The answer to the question of how you should feel is - there is no set way to feel. I believe that you will experience a rollercoaster of emotions, both good and bad. Yes, the feelings are bittersweet, but you have still done it; you have lived the university life, but there is so much more that is good to come.