Averie Watson | Fri, 31 May 2019
The academic year is coming to a close and soon a couple of hundred students in their final years at our university will be graduating in late June. It’s the end of an era. It’s time for us to move on with our lives and decide what we want to do with the future.
I want to ask everyone reading this to do something. I want you all to walk around the university one last time. This may be the last chance that you have.
In a couple of years, we’ll all have jobs in different cities and the University of Aberdeen will be a distant memory.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course. Human nature depends on change. So, moving on to the next stages of our lives is necessary.
Go to all of the buildings that you had your classes in. See if you can remember which rooms you went to over the past few years. These classrooms dictated our time, our work, our very lives for the years that we’ve been here. See if you can remember who taught you. See if you can remember your classmates, or your assignments, or what was on the whiteboard when the lecturer was talking.
Were you a member of any societies? Go to the room that you met in every week with your fellow society members. Can you remember where you would usually sit each week? Is this where you met your friends? How important was this society to you while you were living here?
Did you ever meet up with your friends on campus? Find the place where you would all hang out. Invite them to meet up there one last time. Talk about the past, the present and the future. Talk about how excited you are for what you’re going to do over the next few years. Reminiscing and accepting that your time here is coming to an end doesn’t have to be sad, but hopeful and full of joy.
Take photographs of these places, or even sketch them if you’re more artistically inclined. A visual reminder is so much stronger than anything your memory can retain over years and years of your long, long life. Put these pieces of paper somewhere special. Preserve them. Treasure them. You never know when a wave of nostalgia will wash over you and you’ll want to look at them again.
A word of caution should be advised, though. Doing this will make you look at the world through rose-tinted glasses and possibly cause memories from your first years of university life to reappear in your mind. Do this as a day trip with friends if you want the full effects of this experience.
So many people put all of their time and energy into the graduation ceremony itself, but it’s important to remember how you got here.
The days leading up to this moment were just as important as the final results. They say that you meet your true friends at university and I’d like to think that the saying is pretty accurate. Your friends help you through so many trials and tribulations and you grow as a person thanks to them. In return, they grow as well, thanks to you. Take your time to meet up with these people before the end of June and build more memories together. Do as much as you can before graduation and make the most of your time left here. If you can do that, you can look back at this time years from now with no regrets.