The actual graduation ceremony is Tuesday, when NYU Class of 2014 will not return to classrooms as undergraduates. The day after Labor Day means the end of summer vacation for many, and in high school I dreaded the possibility of no more lazy summer days, no more months-long jaunts to other countries, and no more defined seasons as days melded into each other.
The summer after my freshman year I asked the reporters at my internship if they missed summer vacation. Most didn’t. Now I understand why, because for many college students, Tuesday means a return to stress-filled weeks, tumultuous schedules and juggling between clubs, work and school, and thousands of talented young people vying for something… is it a 4.0 or the best job out of college? I don’t miss that competition, although I’m sure it made me a stronger person.
College defines so much: It’s a catalyst for the future, it’s a binder of friendships, it’s an introduction to the ideas and initiatives of world influencers. No college doesn’t mean missing out on this discussion, but it means you’ll have to work harder to learn on your own.
I’m glad sixteen years of formal education are over. More specifically, I’m glad that high school and college are over, and I can return to focusing on what I love rather than fulfilling requirements. Summer, as a time away from grades and textbooks, is here to stay.
School did what school was meant to do. Now it’s time for a real life–of learning.