It’s official. I am a college graduate. It’s been only a few days and it still hasn’t hit me. At moments, I feel the realness of everything hit me, and I choke back a sob and then it’s back to pretending that it is just a summer vacation. Graduating college means packing and unpacking. The hard thing to realize is that the next time I pack up for school, I’ll be moving to Chicago for my next adventure. This makes me feel excited yet sad. Both of these emotions can be used to express how I feel about opening a new chapter of my life. While I’m sad to close this chapter in my life, I am also excited for the new one.
At the beginning of senior year, my roommate said, “Each new chapter is a new opportunity to define yourself.” When I asked what she meant, she said that before a big change (e.g., starting college), she makes a list about what she liked about the last “chapter” of her life, and what she didn’t like. Then she decides to figure out what she can do to change the things she didn’t like–in college, she decided to shed her high school nickname.
I’ve been asking myself, ‘What do I want to become? What do I want to change about myself? How do I want to change how people perceive me?’ At the same time, I rejoice and praise myself for the things I’m glad I’ve already become. Starting a graduate program is a great opportunity to self-evaluate. While perhaps not the most official source, Uberfacts tweeted that we change our dreams and desires every 10 years. We become different versions of ourselves. But why wait 10 years to realize that we’re becoming someone new? Why wait to become something when at this very moment we can start filling in the blank pages of our next chapter? We’re the authors of our lives and we may as well take the opportunity to decide what our futures hold. We’ve already started this process by choosing to attend optometry school.