I want to bring you back to early January. I found myself one evening on a bus headed towards the south-end of Ottawa to visit a friend of mine who I met in our first year at Carleton. While on the commute I had the My Chemical Romance’s 2010 album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys playing, and as I hit the (thematically) final track, The Kids of Yesterday, it dawned upon me that for the first time since the end of High School that that was me. The reason I was headed out to the South end was because my friend was going to Exeter for a semester abroad, and she wanted to celebrate. This combined with the realisation that I was entering the final semester of my undergrad gave me pause to reflect on the changes that had occurred since I was 17 and I felt this same whimsy.
Come six months later and then I was done; I had had my 25 seconds on stage during my convocation of around three hours, and I had the fancy piece of paper to prove I had accomplished something. Of course the intervening six months between that bus ride to the south end and my convocation were not empty; I got to present at the Carleton Humanities Colloquium, my paper, The Winds of Change – Athens and the Barbarian Invasions, which I had spent three months working on at the end of 2017 was published in my department’s journal, and my partner of five years finally moved in with me at the end of May. I don’t want to diminish these major events and achievements in those intervening six months, however my convocation seemed a fitting cap for them, and now I’m left with the question of what’s next now that for the first time since 1999 I’m not a student anymore.
The immediate answer is that I just had to go on living my normal life. I have bills and rent to pay so that left little time for whimsy and reflection, combined with having to plan for a trip to the U.K from mid-July to the start of August (which I have just recently come back from). So where does that leave me? My current plan is to work until I can afford the ~£12,000 in tuition that my MA will cost me (not including the cost of getting there plus living expenses). I’m also planning on getting back to semi-regular writing both for my own enjoyment as well to keep my writing apparatus sharpened now that I don’t have to contend with regular assignments.
Anyway, I don’t have much else to say about this. Maybe when I originally planned this little piece I might have had some grandiose spiel about my emotional state and how my upcoming convocation would change things for me. Things, shockingly, have changed very little and I’m fine with that. I’m fine with being more than a student, even if I’m still figuring out what exactly that is, or if it even matters since hopefully I’ll go back to being a student ever briefly to do my MA. Here’s to whatever is coming next.