Sundays are a great day of the week. Usually, it’s a day of joy and relaxation, soaking up your day off as you wrap up the weekend. Still, Sundays can be considered a double-edged sword, as many people report having what is known as the “Sunday scaries” — feelings of anxiety, dread and/or uneasiness before entering a new work week. That’s kind of how I feel about my fourth year of university. Come next fall, I won’t be returning to school; I’ll be out in the world working wherever I land as a post-graduate with a Communications Studies degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. While I’m happy to be in my fourth year, I also can’t escape feelings of dread and anxiety as I finish my undergraduate degree — it too is a double-edged sword, and the fourth year scaries are hitting hard.
I think Chandler from Friends describes being in my fourth year of university best: “I’m so excited, I may vomit.” Seriously though, I’m beyond excited to be in my fourth year. I’m spending time and living with the friends I’ve made; living on my own is second nature and I’m taking courses that I find interesting as I work to finish my degree. I’m so thrilled that I will be walking across a stage as a new university graduate in the next few months, collecting the degree I have worked so hard for over the past four years. I’ll have a university degree under my belt as I look to start my professional career and work towards my dreams and aspirations. I hope to work in marketing and public relations. Maybe I’ll be a creative director, creating new and interesting campaigns for sports teams, big-name companies and corporations. No matter what comes next, I’ll be doing something I love. I want to travel in my free time and explore everything the world has to offer. I’m excited to spend time with my family, friends and my wonderful boyfriend who I dated throughout my entire university journey. Life is good now, so whatever comes next will be good too.
But then the fourth year scaries get the best of me. What if I don’t love what I’m doing? What if travelling is unrealistic? Life on your own is already so expensive as it is, right? I’m so happy right now. My life is in a great spot right now. That spot is my life as a university student, where I’m close to my friends, family and boyfriend. But I’m in my fourth year. I’m graduating. Time is running out and the clock is ticking for me to figure out what comes next — what am I going to be doing for the rest of my life? What if the change that comes next is bad? What will I do? Where will I be? Will I be happy?
For many students, including myself, graduating from a university means entering the unknown. Adult life will come with new routines and experiences that will differ from what I’ve practiced and grown accustomed to over the last four years. Although I’d be lying if I said my excitement to graduate wasn’t overshadowed by fear every now and again, I ground myself by remembering my first-year self. I was horrified to transition into university for all the same reasons I’m afraid to graduate now. Despite this fear, I entered the unknown, survived and persevered.
Perhaps Monica from Friends describes fourth year a bit better: “You’re not alone. We don’t know where we’re going! You just gotta figure at some point, it’s all gonna come together.”