I just got an Official Communication in Oasis saying “It looks like you might be ready to graduate this semester – here are the dates you need to hand in your Intention to Graduate form by”. It’s a good thing too, because even though I am quite aware that this is my last semester of my undergrad degree, the whole “apply to graduate” bit completely slipped my mind! Hooray for library hold requests that I log into Oasis to check 😛
It’s kinda weird thinking about handing in the Intention to Graduate form. I remember what a big deal it was the first time, when I finished computer science – I’d spent the last two years at least hanging out for graduating, ‘finishing’, for finally achieving the qualification that I’d put so much time, effort and emotion into. This time it’s not so much of a big deal… Partly because I’ve done it already; partly because I didn’t struggle nearly so much to get through this degree; partly because I’m going on to honours – this isn’t the ‘real’ end. Even when someone else in my class was asking about Intention to Graduate forms and honours today, and I told her that yes, she does need to hand one in even if she’s planning to do honours, I didn’t make the connection, didn’t realise that this applies to me too!
The most weird thing about this is thinking that I’m so close to the end of my uni career. I’ve been at uni so long, and when I started my second degree the end felt so far away – it felt like I’d be at uni forever. I had a sudden realisation last semester that I was getting near the end, and it actually shook me quite a bit. Uni has been a part of all my adult life. Actually, it’s been the focus of all my adult life. I study, work and socialise there; my life is measured in weeks, semesters and assignments. It’s a bit sad to think of letting go all the connections that I have there – all the people that I know from the past seven and a half years there, even the ones I’ve never spoken to, just seen around again and again; all the places – here where I used to meet my friend in my very first semester, here the way I ride my bike, this my usual route to the post box, all the classrooms and lecture theatres with memories attached, from paper planes and falling coke bottles to new friends and relationships, and hard work and boredom and late-night assignment-stress silliness.
But on the other hand, all sorts of things have been on hold “until I finish uni” – travel, money stuff, relationship stuff. I’m also looking forward to doing those things, and now that the end isn’t so impossibly far away, I’m able to start thinking and planning all the moving forward that I’ve not been able to do during my hiatus of busyness and student poverty. I’m also able to ‘break the rules’ a bit, as I am with my trip to Europe, although I am twitching about breaking into my savings.
Which brings me to another big reason for not thinking of the Intention to Graduate form earlier – planning a holiday; planning for honours, and getting Centrelink to keep giving me money for honours; doing two units, with readings, assignments, and so on; tutoring and mentoring and volunteering; sewing and crocheting; staying sane – I’ve been too busy thinking about all the other stuff! At least all those hours of enforced idleness on planes, trains and ferries during my trip will give me some time to ponder the upcoming changes in my life… Because once I start honours I don’t think I’ll have much time for it!