Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, and Unicorns?? ... Oh My! Happiness After Her Undergrad - Cierra Gaudet

Undergraduate Degree = COMPLETE!!!

Euphoria, unicorns, rainbows, sunshine, dancing, happiness, laughter, the “warm fuzzies” are all a mixture of feelings that I am experiencing at the moment. I’ve dreamed about this moment so many times in the last few weeks. For a while, it seemed like I’d be stuck in university forever, but after Christmas I began to see the end of the tunnel and I knew that victory was near. I wish I could say that I did something drastic after my last exam. You know, like I threw down my pencil and stormed out of the room like I owned the place (or something along those lines). I ended up doing the same thing I always do. Checking and re-checking all of my work, making sure my name and student number were written on the front page and as I walked down to give my exam to my professor, I did take the time to smile a bit. I handed in my last exam, still smiling, and said “thank you” to the professor. It was only when I was in the comfort of my own room that my happy dance began!

It’s been 2 hours since I finished writing and it still hasn’t really sunk in that I’m done. I keep expecting someone to jump out of nowhere and be like, “JUST KIDDING! YOU HAVE A PAPER DUE TOMORROW!” or something else that’s just as scary. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking about all that’s gone on in the last four years. I’ve mentioned previously that I am originally from Summerside, PEI and during my senior year of high school, I made the decision to attend the University of Ottawa in the fall. At first it seemed like a brilliant idea! I felt so excited to be heading to a big city and experiencing all the hustle and bustle of being in the nation’s capital. The night before I left, all of those feelings went away and were replaced with such terror I wanted to honestly slap myself in the face and be like, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ARE YOU INSANE? YOU’LL NEVER SURVIVE!”

But, I did! Somehow I managed to fall in love with the city of Ottawa and while I still can’t say some words properly and my love for headbands hasn’t died, I can honestly say that it’s been an unreal journey. (So unreal that I’m staying here again ;)). I won’t say that it was an easy 4 years because an undergraduate degree is NOT easy. In fact, it was a lot of hard work, dedication and wasn’t done
without complaining, griping and arguing. However, what I’ve managed to learn (aside from what I was supposed to learn) was that good company, great friends and family are all you need to survive in life, no matter what the challenge is…ok, and well yes, you also need food, water and oxygen, but let’s just keep it simple. :P What made this undergrad memorable was all of the wonderful people that I had the chance to get to know over the course of the degree. It’s pretty neat when you’re in a classroom that’s so diverse in culture, energy, and talent. I’m excited to see what the future holds in store for my classmates and myself.

In terms of the future, I plan on working here for the next year, finding some time to relax for once and perhaps going back to school later on. I’ve always enjoyed learning, and I’m only 21, so who knows? However, right now all I can think about is celebrating!!!! Because, well, why not?? :D I definitely have a sense of pride in what I’ve accomplished, but that goes without saying that I’ve been very fortunate to have such an amazing support team who I want to take the time to recognize for always being there for me (you guys know who you are!). I think sometimes as students we are so focused on grades that we forget the most important things in life (and no, sleep isn’t one of them in case you were wondering), but rather our family and friends. Always make sure they come first above everything else. With that, congrats to the HK graduates of 2014! We did it (thank god).