Graduates, it’s just the beginning

The excitement, smiles, and memories at Eckville Junior Senior High School graduation Saturday made me reflect on my own graduation.

The excitement, smiles, and memories at Eckville Junior Senior High School graduation Saturday made me reflect on my own graduation.

I graduated four years ago from a Calgary high school with about 500 others. My ceremony lacked the warmth and intimacy of the one in Eckville, but I think the same feelings are there for every graduate, everywhere. I felt a mixture of happiness at being finished high school (and math), apprehension about the future, and sadness to be leaving my friends and family.

I had chosen to attend St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, which offers an excellent journalism program. However, I had never been to the east coast. It was intimidating thinking about leaving everything familiar for a place so far away where I knew no one.

As it turned out, I shouldn’t have worried. I hadn’t had many friends in high school, but after I left, that didn’t matter. No one cared how popular I had been or what I had done. I started from scratch and made new friends – some of my best friends. After high school, no one cares who you were. All that matters is who you are.

Four years later, and just a few weeks ago, I graduated from university. It was the beginning of real life. No more putting “student” as my occupation on forms, no more studying, papers, or classes, and no more safe, idyllic campus community.

After graduation, nothing was guaranteed, and that was terrifying to me. But then I remembered what I had experienced after high school. There’s only one way to go in life forward and there are so many opportunities out there. It’s possible to start something new any time you want.

So, graduates, while you may be feeling the way I did, it’s worth remembering that it’s your life, and there’s no rush. If you change your mind somewhere along the way, that’s okay. If you don’t know where you’re going, that’s okay too.

Post-grad, the only thing that matters is what you want to matter.

by Aleisha Bosch