Life After University

In June 2017, I officially graduated from the University of Windsor and received my Bachelor of Arts! The degree is still sitting in the envelope, unframed, and resting under my bed because I have yet to go and get it framed. Just before I got my degree, I left Windsor (in May 2017) and moved back in with my dad. Life after university has been new and different.

But it’s been one hell of a year. Let’s review.

In the summer of 2017, I ended a longterm relationship. I also started medication after self-assessing that I have bipolar—which I do! The fall of 2017 saw me take driving lessons as well as attend a mindfulness-based cognitive behavioural therapy program. Winter was rough. But then, in February of 2018, I got my G2 licence, which meant I could drive without a co-driver. Freedom!

This has been the first full year—12 months—that I haven’t been invested on school. Summer break, a few months, didn’t count. I always looked ahead to the next semester. I don’t just mean university, either. Since I started attending educational institutions, I haven’t been out of them for more than three months. Until now.

Life after university: what’s next?

First and foremost, I’ll continue offering editing and design services. I love working with writers so much that I can’t see myself quitting the freelancer gig for a while. But I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life.

I thought I would figure out a path for myself in university. I thought that, if I took lots of different classes in what interested me, I’d find something that would connect. My degree had a lot of variety in it. Since I studied Spanish language, linguistics and second language learning, English literature, and creative writing, there were many careers I could go into. But none of them seemed to pull me in.

All through university, I kept telling myself and my friends, “I should have gone to art school.” So I’ve applied to an 8-month art program at a college. I hope I get in, but that means even more life changes. Moving again, not having a house to fall back on since my dad is moving too, and embarking on a separate industry.

Who would have thought that life after university meant considering more post-secondary school? School that wasn’t a graduate degree. I want to go to college! It’s what I should have done from the start! I kind of regret my bachelor’s degree, but I know it was still very valuable. Both the experiences and the credential are beneficial to me. But it isn’t what I thought I would do after high school.

It’s weird to not be in school, considering I’ve grown up in school all through my developmental years. Isn’t that ridiculous to think about? From around the age of 4 until 18, and further, I’ve been structured into a school system of some form. I’m scared as hell. It’s common for people my age to not know what their purpose is. It’s also common to take a while to figure out my “place” in life. I’m worried I’ll never figure it out, and that I’ll always be looking for the next thing. So I don’t know what’s next, aside from the possibility—and desire—to return to school once more.

Thoughts On Zombies

Moody photograph of tombstones at dusk.

It has come to my attention recently that I have another fear. I’m not very original in my fears, but hey, whatever—I’m not a special snowflake.

I’m scared of

  • Being in deep bodies of natural water, like oceans and lakes—I can’t go swimming in them, but I can be in boats on top of them.
  • The dark—when it’s a dark that produces shadows.
  • Tornadoes—they’re just… so quick to form, do so much damage, and screw off within 20 minutes. The ultimate fuckboy of natural disasters.
  • Decomposition—this is the one I found out about this month.

I have always had an aversion to zombies. A few years ago when I first watched ParaNorman, an excellent stop-motion animated PG film, I needed a few minutes to get used to the zombies. Whenever I saw my brother playing Call of Duty with zombies, I avoided looking at the screen. The Walking Dead? I will never, ever watch it in any capacity. Horror movies are always a no-go, but zombie horror movies—even horror-comedy ones!—are always a never-go. I can’t play zombie-themed video games, no matter how good they are.

I’m okay with vampires and ghosts—I actually enjoy them very much—so I knew the “undead” weren’t really the issue. It was the body horror and gore of zombies that unsettled me, but why? Why the bodily aspect?

Because body decomposition freaks me out.

I was recently thinking about mortality and death, as one does when they have severe depression and they’ve recently visited their brother’s grave. And I kept thinking: I’m okay with people dying. Death itself doesn’t bother me so much. It’s natural. It’s what happens. But why can’t I handle zombies?

I started delving a bit more once I realised what made me the most sad about my brother’s death and my pet rabbit’s eventual death in the future. The fact that their corporeal selves won’t simply disappear.

A corpse doesn’t float off into the afterlife. It doesn’t turn into pyreflies like it does in Final Fantasy. It takes its time. The finalisation of death takes time, and it’s just so gross. So, so gross and depressing.

I don’t want to rhapsodise about the body (oh goodness, did I just make a subconscious allusion to a poet I hate?) or go on a tangent about mortality. I’m just getting into the freaky Halloween spirit by reminding everyone about the rot of life. How life takes its time in dying, because the body has had so much time to live.

I suppose it’s a balance. We take an average of 9 months to grow. It’s only fair that nature can reclaim us in some span of time.