Hillary Sametz

So I have come to the end of a road—that road being my undergraduate degree at Brandon University. It feels incredibly strange to be graduating because, although four years have come and gone, it still feels like yesterday when I was moving into residence at BU.

It has indeed been a fast four years—fast and busy! It seems as though everyday was jam-packed with classes, rehearsals, meetings, etc. As a student, you are always running from one activity to the next. You really learn how to balance your schedule. Well, some of us (me) never quite learn, unfortunately, and so we are still struggling to complete papers the night before they are due.

So now that I have finished school and returned to my home town of Regina, Saskatchewan, I have way too much time on my hands. I feel entirely unproductive now that my days are no longer packed to the brim, and I'm not running around like a person on hyper pills.

In fact, I am feeling more than just unproductive. I am feeling unsettled, knowing that my time as a student has potentially come to a temporary close. My plans for the fall are still up in the air and may or may not include further study. I have to play the waiting game, and it has left me with a sensation of being transient.

I think there are two main options for reacting to this situation:

A) Freak out.

B) Accept my state and allow the wind to blow me where it will.

Let us first examine option A.

Many people become overwhelmed when facing transition, be it traveling to another country, suffering a break-up, moving out from home, going to university, starting a new job, etc. The result of this state of anxiety is fear of the unknown—stepping into unfamiliar territory and not knowing exactly what to expect.

Generally, humans like to have a good idea of what they are getting themselves into. It's safer and allows less room for disappointment and mistakes. It is in fact rare when a person enjoys not knowing what is coming.

Now, what about option B?

I suppose that living a fairly structured (can you call student life structured?) way of life over the last four years has provided me with an abundance of regularity, you might say! Now is the time to embrace my freedom. For when, really, will I have the liberty to do pretty much whatever I want? I have no commitments with regards to a job, a family, or an institution.

During this in-between period of being a graduated student and jumping into the steady-work world of regular employment, one is free to take opportunities he or she may have been unable to do previously. Perhaps there is the chance to travel or expand horizons by possibly taking a dance class or joining a community sports team. Volunteering with underprivileged children or at the Food Bank may be another rewarding way to spend free time.

It may be overwhelming to do something totally new, but stepping out of one's comfort zone can lead to exciting discoveries about one's self. You may ignite a passion for something that you never even knew was there! And not only do new opportunities have the potential to result in a great experience (and a great story), they will also allow a person to develop his or her capability to handle transition. Being adaptable is always a valuable asset.

And so, since I have an abundance of time on my hands, I can actually use that time to start/finish some projects that have been languishing in my brain just waiting for the opportunity and time to jump out.

So for anyone who is currently in that in-between stage and isn't sure what to do next, take advantage of the fact that for a while you have so few commitments. Go try something new!

If you're looking to do some volunteering, check out these links:

Big Brothers and Sisters of Brandon
Westman Immigrant Services
Brandon Regional Hospital
Canada World Youth

Hillary Sametz

A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Hillary moved to Brandon in 2004 to attend the Brandon University School of Music. This May, Hillary will be graduating from BU having completed an undergraduate degree in music, specializing in Viola Performance under the direction of Nancy Nehring. Although she has thoroughly enjoyed her time spent in Brandon, Hillary knows that many adventures await her in far-off lands. Currently, she is planning an expedition to India. Hillary's future goals include pursuing a Masters Degree in Music, volunteering, cycling across Canada, and continuing her jet-setting ways to exotic locations full of sunshine.

About Ecclectica | Current issue | Issue archive | Links | The editorial team | Contact us
ISSN 1708-721X