The final chapter: graduation
Taylor Charlebois, Staff Writer
With the semester coming to an end across universities, many are graduating and for them, a bittersweet new chapter begins. Photo courtesy of Unsplash
It’s hard to believe that four years have come and gone. It’s hard to believe the peaks and valleys that I’ve been through in this time. It’s hard to believe that four years ago, I was a fresh faced journalism student — with seemingly no talent and just a dream.
I went into the program with no friends and a weird sense of not wanting any. I started my bachelors degree of communication in journalism and digital media at the tender age of 26. With most of my peers anywhere from 18 to 23, I was embarrassed to be the “old-man” of the group.
Much to my dismay, this plan did not work out. I was immediately making friends and creating connections that would continue to be an intimate part of my life — an entire degree later. These friendships I made along the way are testaments to what my university experience was. It was full of laughs, victories and losses — we took all of these together.
What made this particular university experience interesting, was that just by the end of our second year — the pandemic happened.
Transferring to online schooling was not anything any of us would ever have guessed. When was the last time a pandemic shut down the world? This was unprecedented.
It didn’t matter to me, honestly, it was welcome. As an introvert, I relished at the opportunity to stay home and work away at my mountains of assignments. I even started to exercise as a result of all the newfound time I had on my hands (if you’re interested in that, I wrote a story about working out, you can find it on The Reflector website.)
What I didn’t expect, and rather what I don’t think anyone expected, is how long online school would last. What was a welcome reprieve from social responsibilities slowly became a prison cell where I, like so many others, craved any opportunity to get out.
This would last an entire year.
By our fourth year, the restrictions would lay off, and we would return to partial on-campus learning and then complete on-campus learning, which was exciting for everyone. Many of the friends we had made during our first and second year were relegated to pictures on your computer screen. It was exciting to see these people in the flesh again, albeit, I was nervous to see everyone.
During quarantine, I had only ever hung out with some of my core friends, so being in public places and especially surrounded by so many people was a strange experience for me. But I think I needed to get out of the house. Getting back into the world felt good.
The pandemic didn’t stop the journalism degree though. What would have been incredibly difficult assignments, and having to interview a myriad of people for classes was diminished to phone calls and virtual meetings.
I find it funny how I’m probably more comfortable interviewing someone over the insincere computer screen rather than in-person.
I did learn a lot though. I went into the degree with a very average writing style, I’m not going to say I’m leaps and bounds better, but I think I’ve improved. I’ve written for The Reflector for two semesters now and for that I’m proud.
I was given the opportunity to write about anything and everything that my little heart desired. I got to write about my love of books and reading, about how a video game has made me cry and about how and why I think people get so tired throughout the day.
I’d just like to thank the readership for picking up this little paper throughout campus and elsewhere. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldnt get to write these sweet little nothings, that perhaps don’t appear to be much — but meant the world to me. A reprieve from my week, a therapeutic practice in turning my brain off from the daunting deadlines, the assignments, heck — even from my personal life — and just write.
I’m not entirely sure what the future holds for me. I don’t think anyone does. I’m optimistic I’ll land on my feet, as I hope every one of my peers does, and every one of you readers do too.
Thank you for reading, and with that, I declare the end of Taylor Talk. Thanks for coming.