the last first

Yesterday was my last first day of class–as a student at least. Yesterday I started my last semester of graduate school, a day I have been looking forward to almost as much as May 4 (my graduation day, which I’m looking forward to solely for the cute insta caption about being a master, and also because I am so done with the student life). And it’s weird, knowing that this is my last first day of being a student, because I have defined myself as a student for the past 20 or so years.

It’s also weird because I’m aware that it’s a last first–unlike a last first kiss, or a last first date, or a last first that has nothing to do with your love life that I can’t quite think of right now. This is my last first day of school, and it’s different than in high school or undergrad, when I knew that I’d be starting something new in August. Honestly, I have no idea what I’m going to be doing in August because my life has no direction right now, but that’s not the point (wow, it is early to start rambling but here we are). The point is that I have spent my entire life being a student, and in four short months, 113 days to be exact, I will never be a student again.

The great thing about being a person is that you get to assume new identities at will. In May, or June, or July, or August, or whenever, I get to take on a totally new identity, or at least part of one. This is the first time since I was five that I won’t be going to class when August rolls around. It’s kind of scary, knowing that I’m not going to be a student anymore. School as been the one constant in my life so far, and I’m not as eager as you may think to leave that behind. As excited as I am to walk into the vast uncertainty that is my future, I am going to miss the security blanket that is my education.

But I’ve never been one to work with a safety net, and I’m not going to start anytime soon. I jump off cliffs and trust that the universe will guide me and protect me. More than ever, I have faith that the universe will make sure I end up exactly where I need to be. As I once again enter a transition phase (though one could argue I’ve spent my entire life in a transition phase), I’m going to enjoy the moments as they come. For 113 more days, I’m still a student. I still get to bitch about parking, convince Melissa to get dinner after class, stress out over papers that ultimately hold no meaning, and continue to strive for something as arbitrary as a grade in a class. Also I get to update my resume, which I absolutely dread but also am excited about because it means I’m starting new adventures! Maybe if I keep framing this all as a new adventure, I’ll stop being terrified!

My anxiety struggles have taught me to break life down into manageable increments to keep myself from getting overwhelmed. I don’t really have to start jumping off cliffs until March, when I start seriously looking for jobs and thinking about my future. I’m going to enjoy the next two months of transition, of not being a part of the real world, of figuring out which of these cliffs I want to jump off of. After that, I’m just going to take life one day at a time and let the universe guide me in the right direction. I have always had an abundance of faith in myself and in the universe; now I just have to prove it. No safety nets needed.

Yesterday was my last first day of school. I only have 113 more days until graduation. I am going to do my absolute best to love the time I have left. Being a student has been the greatest adventure of my life, and as sad as I am to leave it behind, I am eager and curious to see what my next adventure will be. The world is still waiting for me to conquer it; I’m finally ready to start.


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