The last essay for the last undergrad course at AU?after four years I expected the submission button to become easier to press. This proved to be wildly inaccurate. My final essay was, at least to memory, the most difficult to send. I was closing the door on a chapter of my life, and a chapter that had consumed me completely. I learned many things from my studies, some academic, of course, but many personal, and even more social.
Submitting this assignment has proved the most contradictory. I am excited to be moving forward, I am feeling ready to close this chapter and move on, and yet I feel a sadness at the closure which sending that essay meant. I am proud that I made it to the deadline to attend convocation, and yet it is still completely surreal: I don’t allow myself to believe it until the paper is returned, the final mark is in, and invitation received.
I understand the need to have a few steps between uploading an assignment and submitting the assignment, but do we need so many? As I progressed through the all too familiar steps of assignment submission my heart pounded a little harder with each step. I stopped and debated (as usual) at the step where it askes, again, “are you sure?” Is it done? Is it ready? Knowing that even if I didn’t submit it all I would do is continue to incessantly edit: take out a comma, put comma back; change one word, add an “ly” adverb and remember the rule and rush back to find it and remove it before anyone suspects It’s there.
The submission of my first essay came with many of the same emotions. Though the doubt and fear were of a different kind. It was the beginning of a long journey, and one then that I was not sure I could see the end of. With the submission of that first assignment I was a student, it was official and there would be no backing down from it. I knew then that I would be diving headlong into stress, excitement, misery, elation, every emotion you can think of is one likely felt on this adventure. It is surprising that the final assignment submission also comes with a mixed bag of emotions. I expected to feel excited, relieved, and proud. And while I do, I did not expect the uncertainty or the surreal-ness.
Perhaps my time here is not yet complete; but my time with my undergrad degree is (barring that assignment actually needing more editing than I gave it). AU provides a wonderful experience, even if they make you press “submit” several times for each assignment. I suppose it is better than uploading it, pressing submit, and only then remembering you forgot to add your list of references.
Deanna Roney is an AU student who loves adventure in life and literature