There are now 100 days remaining of my undergraduate career. About 92 of those days are active academic days, the remainder are the “rest period” between final exams and commencement. The rest period allows for final grading as well as allowing the registrar to finish “checking out” the degrees so that the diplomas may be issued.
I would love to say that I am not nervous and that this is just another semester on the records, as that would make it easy for me to mentally dismiss, but unfortunately this is not just an ordinary semester. I am nervous about everything this semester. I have to do everything right to keep my GPA high, there are no do-overs available to me, I can’t withdraw from a class because there is not another chance to take them (not that I have ever been big on withdrawal). The thing that is especially difficult for me is the fact that after the ceremony, my ties with the institution, its staff, its process, its unique personality is severed and I will have to face that this aspect of my life has concluded. On the positive side, after commencement when I enroll in a graduate school program, the GPA slate is wiped clean and I get to start fresh on a new academic career. Graduate school will be more challenging and I have to be more certain of things. There isn’t exactly a grad school option to decide at the last minute “oh, I want to add a minor/concentration to that”. I have to know what I want to do going into it. I don’t love the idea of moving on because I feel like while I’m at a school I have the opportunity to make a long-lasting impression on the school, even if its just a small thing.
On the bright side of things, in 100 days I move on to a new level of academic existence. There will no longer be freshmen (not that there have been many for the last 2 years) in my classes, and everyone will be closer to my level of seriousness about academics. Still, even that brings up new concerns, such as students being TOO serious about academics and not being able to think about anything else.
I think overall I am excited about graduation and I am looking forward to new opportunities. I believe that I have achieved as much as I can as an undergraduate and am looking forward to new challenges and ways to actually begin participating in academic life.