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.

2016 Goals

As is custom at the start of January, I made goals for this year. They are similar to New Year’s Resolutions, but more specific and–dare I say it–loftier than a common resolution of “Be healthy” or “Be happy/happier.”

I believe in tangibility. I enjoy things that can exist in physical form, rather than things that exist solely in abstract, ethereal, and overwhelming headspaces. My goals for 2016 focus on the achievable; on things that can have progress; on small actions I can take to obtain a larger goal.

Baby steps.

If I work toward these goals and have successes along the way, I will find success elsewhere down the road. If I practice (writing, designing, self-love, healthy habits, etc.), then I will improve. Even if I don’t meet my end goal, I will at least better myself by trying.

2016 Goals:

  • Graduate from the University of Windsor.
  • Maintain a 75% average for my final two semesters.
  • Finish a novel manuscript for submission.
  • Have a poem published in a literary magazine.
  • Blog consistently within a routine.
  • Design a day planner.
  • Open an Etsy shop for digital art prints.
  • Tend to mental health (depression, anxiety, eating disorder, and whatever else pops up).
  • Here comes the cliché: Lose 25 pounds of fat.

Some of these goals are going to be more difficult (publish a poem), while other goals I’m 90% sure I will achieve (graduating university).

But it isn’t the end of the world if I don’t reach any of these goals.

What is one goal you’d like to accomplish in 2016?

2016 Goals--My 9 goals, or resolutions, for 2016, raging from health to writing to business!