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For the majority of people, this school year is going to be just another ordinary school year, full of the expectable stress of course loads and academic struggles that last year gave. For some, they may have experienced their very first day of University, and feel awkward and lost and unsure of their surroundings.

However, for a small percentage of us, it is our last year. Monday will be my last first day of a school year, ever.

I don’t have the same anxiety I did on my first day of first year, where I was worried about not having time to travel between buildings for my classes, find quiet study spaces, or seeing my friends as much as I used to. Instead, I have anxiety surrounding my placement, whether or not I’ll be able to get reference letters for a future job, and about being thrown into the ‘real world’ right after I graduate.

Although many of us hate school, it’s all we really know because we have been within the system since we were 3-4 years old. For those of us graduating as the class of ‘18, this is our last year of comfort and knowing how things will turn out before we have more freedom. It seems a bit scary (to me, anyways) because I won’t have school as my main priority anymore, and things won’t have to be planned around school.

I always see advice being given to first year students at post-secondary, but nothing really towards those who are graduating soon. Even though I’m in the same boat as you (if you are graduating), my advice for all of us is this:

  1. Count down the days to graduation.

  2. Compare yourself from first year to now; you’ve come so far and accomplished so much.

  3. Appreciate the little time you have left in school; pay attention to lectures, participate too.

  4. Don’t stop doing your work or trying. In fact, try even harder. It makes the time between now and graduation more enjoyable.

  5. Pack your lunches; there is still time to save some money and party for your graduation.

  6. Go to at least one social function, just to say you went to one.

  7. Get an agenda, even if it’s your last year. It will help the year breeze by faster.

  8. Don’t forget about self-care.

Even though Monday will be my last first day, and it is an extremely bittersweet feeling, I am excited to enjoy the rest of what University has to offer and get one step closer to my hopes and dreams of being a social worker.

Taurus. Vegan. Tea lover. Rabbit enthusiast. Aspiring social worker and writer. The proud owner of many pets. Avid reader. Fan of the Office, the Simpsons, and Married...with Children. Judge Judy is my idol. The biggest Green Day fan you'll ever meet. I do also enjoy Muse and Mac DeMarco.
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