By Amanda Seed

As a farewell blog post, this is decidedly late. As the Carleton English Undergrad blogger, this post is even later. I suppose I got a bit caught up in Life with a capital L?

I’ll start with an update. Since I last posted, I successfully made it through the first semester of my fourth year. I had a nice winter holiday break that went by entirely too quickly. I started second semester still exhausted. A few months in I realized I wasn’t doing as well in my classes as I had hoped. Around the same time I happily submitted my MA applications—a huge weight off my shoulders. Then I focused on getting my academics back to my unreasonably high standards. I nearly drowned. A reprieve came in the form of a very exciting and generous acceptance offer from the Carleton M.A. English program. I happily accepted. Afterwards, I once again refocused on school. I managed to turn things around enough and achieve some pretty wonderful final grades. I was very happy to see my grades trickle in this past month.

And now? I’M FINISHED.

I have officially completed my four-year, Honours undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature Studies. And I loved it so much I’m coming back for Round Two in September.

So, there’s my academic update.

You may be wondering, why post now? Exams have been over for weeks, final grades should all be posted by now…why so late?

Well, I haven’t had a second to breathe until, I’d say, this week. Just before the end of the semester I made a big life decision, I chose to move out, fly from the nest, leave good ol’ Manotick behind. I loved living at home, but I wanted a new experience, my own space, and some real-life responsibility alongside my graduate-level studies. So, when exams ended, I was in full-on packing mode…and then I was in unpacking mode…and then I was in shopping mode (although many may say that’s a constant mode but still) … and finally, assembly mode. There is still so much to do in my new little home, but it has slowed down enough that I can take a breath. I can think about making a blog post for the first time in months. I can book a grad portrait session and go to the bank and even sit and watch a movie. Summer break has finally arrived! And you can feel it in the air (finally)!

So that’s me. That is where I am at in life. SO many changes in SUCH a short period of time but I am happy, and there are still so many adventures ahead of me.

My undergraduate degree was not easy by any stretch. I had struggles—days when I wanted to give up. I put too much pressure on myself. I didn’t take care of my mental and physical health as much as I should have, but one learns from one’s mistakes. I grew throughout my four years at Carleton and I’m graduating with a much deeper understanding of who I am. This program allowed me to explore different disciplines, different perspectives, different theories, different styles of thinking, and while all that made me a better scholar, a better student, it also formed me, my personality and my unique opinions.

Looking back, four years went by ridiculously fast. But in this short span I have met some amazing people and professors to whom I am grateful for who I am today. I am so excited to come back home, to Carleton, in the fall and begin a new journey in the same welcoming English department. I am excited to be challenged, to be frustrated, to meet my new cohort, to find new interests, and to be inspired all over again.

So, as a farewell, I want to enjoin you all to enjoy the time you have. Work hard, but take care of yourselves, and every once in a while take a moment to think about how you’ve changed. Take a moment to relish the academic life instead of work through it. Revel in the university atmosphere and the amazing mind you are creating and the amazing people who are creating alongside you.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way, my awesome English peers, amazing professors, extremely kind and helpful administrators, and anyone else who rooted for me and maybe read a blog post in solidarity. No one can do it alone and I am eternally grateful to have been molded into the Carleton English Lit Graduate I have become.