What Next?

I’ve been at McGill for just over a year now. Some might say I’ve “settled in”, but sometimes I still feel pretty new here. There are some things that, by my second year, I probably should have seen or heard of already, however, just this week was the first time that I’ve seen upper year students preparing for and celebrating convocation. As a student not even half way through my degree, seeing them enjoy this time as they start a new chapter of their lives reminded me of the rush of excitement I felt after my high school graduation, but it seemed that much more exhilarating – so many new adventures lay ahead and new memories waiting to be made.

But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed a little daunting. Even though I’m not in their position yet, the thought of losing the familiarity and comfort of the routines, friends, and places you’ve come to love for the past 4 years, makes me nervous. Looking at other students, I couldn’t help but wonder what each of them would be doing once the thrill of convocation had settled. Will they take up a new job position right away? Or spend some time with friends and family first? Will they go to Grad school to complete a Masters? Or perhaps to go on to do later do research? Will they travel? Take a break to discover new places or volunteer? The possibilities are endless and choices have to made.

I wonder the same questions for myself as well, as I don’t think I’m convinced there’s really a right answer for everyone, but rather that everyone should do what’s best for them. It’s a little scary not knowing what you want to do later, even if that’s 2 years before you actually need to decide. Maybe some of the students who attended convocation this week aren’t entirely sure what’s next down the road for them either?

Maybe, also, this uncertainty isn’t scary, but reassuring. You’re never the only one who isn’t sure which path you’ll take next, and if it turns out being something you don’t enjoy very much, there are other things to choose from and so many other things available to you. A reminder: the world is yours!

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