Done My Degree!

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“You’re going to be all right. And you’re going to be all right not because you majored in English or didn’t and not because you plan to apply to law school or don’t, but because all right is almost always where we eventually land, even if we mess up entirely along the way..

Just close your eyes and remember everything you already know. Let whatever mysterious starlight that guided you this far, guide you onward into whatever crazy beauty awaits. Trust that all you learned during your college years was worth learning, no matter what answer you have or do not have about what use it is..

You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts. You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth..

I hope you will be surprised and knowing at once. I hope you’ll always have love. I hope you’ll have days of ease and a good sense of humor. I hope when people ask what you’re going to do with your English and/or creative writing degree you’ll say: “Continue my bookish examination of the contradictions and complexities of human motivation and desire”; or maybe just: “Carry it with me, as I do everything that matters.” And then smile very serenely until they say ‘”oh”.”

You can read the full article by the oh-so-amazing Cheryl Strayed here. You should also get her book and read it cover-to-cover and cherish it.

This afternoon, I wrote the last exam of my undergraduate degree. That’s it! I’m done! It’s hard to believe that I don’t have another paper to write or studying to do, I’m free from school. And not just for the summer, forever (maybe).

I’m feeling very emotional (normal, for me). The last four years have been educational and inspiring and hard and fun and full of pain and full of love. I have a feeling that that’s what the next four years will be like, and the four after that (and so on and so on), but I also think these four were some of the most important I’ll have. They don’t call them formative years for nothing, right? I got to know some absolutely amazing people and I got to know myself. I will be eternally grateful for the support of my family (I love you all to infinity and beyond) for listening to me rant and looking over my papers and sending me silly SnapChats (a fairly recent phenomenon, admittedly) and writing me emails that made me feel closer to home. I will be eternally grateful for the support of my friends for all the laughs and jokes and willingness to listen to me complain and pep talk me back up, launch into impromptu dance parties and just sit in silence with me while we suffer through some studying (because we know having someone there makes it all better).

Two years ago, I wouldn’t have resonated so strongly with the quote above. But I think the fact that I do now shows how much I’ve grown and how much perspective I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to. I know I’m going to be okay, eventually. I’m not as scared of the world as I was a year ago, or even a month ago. I’m ready for the next chapter, and all the struggle and happiness it holds for me. I’ll always have the wonderful people around me, and I’ll always have good books, and I’ll always have the ability to see the bright side and find small joys. Happiness is choice! Happiness is a form of bravery!

It’s been grand, undergraduate degree. Thanks for the memories! xoxo.

  • Congratulations, Steph! The above quote’s a great and totally appropriate one – once you leave the shelter and order that school provides, it’s more important than ever to keep your interests and passions very, very close to you as you move forwards. You’ll be all the happier for it, and you’ll just be continuing the journey you’ve been treading along towards your degree. Good luck!

    • Stephanie Pellett

      I think you’re totally right. Thanks Marc, I’m nervous but excited! :)

  • Ruby

    Congrats! Don’t suppose you have any wisdom to pass down now that you’re on the other side? I’m off to uni this September – I’m ridiculously excited but oh so nervous. I’m doing psychology too! I’m way more a read a book, movie on the couch, pizza night in kind of girl than a out all night clubbing one. I’m scared everyone will think I’m boring and lame…

    Love your blog!

    Ruby

    • Stephanie Pellett

      Hi Ruby!!

      Thanks for your comment. I can totally relate to what you’re going through – I am definitely not into clubbing, so I was worried about making friends when I first went to university too. Trust me – you’ll find your tribe. Maybe not instantly, but with time, you’ll find people who like the same things you do. You just gotta be yourself (cliche, but so true) and you will attract the kind of people you want to be friends with. I might revisit this topic in a future blog post, but until then take a look at this article I wrote a few years ago: 20 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting University.

      Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more questions! I’d love to offer any wisdom I have, so feel free to pick my brain.

      Thanks Ruby and good luck! :)

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