Ready to Move On: Thoughts on Leaving My Undergrad Years Behind

As we grow older, we tend to fear the future more and more. In fact, we dread growing up and moving on to the “real” world, a.k.a. being an adult. As graduation approaches, peers are sad to leave their undergraduate school and go out on their own; they dread leaving their comfortable, flexible routine of school, study, party, and sleep.

However, for me, as my graduation day approaches, I can’t help but feel relief and excitement.  

I’m not judging or looking down on those who feel nervous about graduating at all. The unknown is scary and nerve-wracking. And, considering no one really prepared us for what to do when we’re not part of the school system, all of those feelings of doubt and uncertainty are absolutely justifiable.   

I am eternally grateful that I have had the privilege to go to an amazing undergraduate school, but over the past two years, I’ve been thinking more and more about what really matters. For some classes I will spend 10 weeks learning material that I will master for each midterm and final, but if you were to ask me now how to do an arrow push mechanism for a Robinson annulation reaction or to explain the process in which our body receives pain, I will not be able to regurgitate the information like I did on the exams. The issue is that classes come and go, which defeats the learning process. Our classes emphasize that in order to learn and understand the material, we should practice constantly, and that repetition is key to really get something in your head. But, after 10 weeks, the practice and repetition for the class is done, and it’s on to the next one.  

So I couldn’t help, but think, “None of this matters.” I would be sitting in a major-required class that I held no interest in, as it had no relation to my future profession, and my only motivation was to receive a good grade. As my undergraduate career progressed, I gained more motivation; this newfound motivation came from my desire to leave my undergrad so I could move on to a professional school and receive the degree I wanted. A degree that would actually help me attain a position where I could make an impact.  

In a way, I am torn between my feelings on my undergraduate experience. My undergraduate years lead me to meet friends (one of which is my best friend/roommate), gain life experiences, join organizations I am proud to be a part of, and take classes I enjoyed. But, I couldn’t help but feel useless sitting in a classroom as I learned materials that I would not able to apply to the real world. I felt like a robot going through my daily routine of class, study, sleep. I was just another pawn in the institution.

UC Davis has gained a special place in my heart, which I am thankful for. But I am more than ready to move on and begin a new chapter of my life.

Cover image source: Pexels