The Home Stretch

Running the race – graduation victory

The end is approaching quickly.  Too quickly!  I revised my study plan for the next few months and realized that I have just over three months of AU studies left—about a hundred days.  By April 30 I will have completed all the courses for my degree.

Suddenly, graduation will be this year.

In one sense, I’d like time to slow down.  I’ve finally achieved a rhythm and a routine that works.  There’s comfort in this familiarity, of knowing what I’ll be doing the next day and the next.  The easiest strategy would be to just keep on doing what I’m doing.  One more course, than another and another.

In another sense, I’d like time to speed up.  I’ve been working toward my Bachelor of General Studies degree for over five years.  Enough already.  It’s time to wrap this thing up and put a sparkly bow on it.  It’s time to look beyond the last hurdle and see what life has to offer next.

The prospect of being finished—really finished—my undergrad degree is exhilarating.  Also a bit scary.  So far, I’ve refused to contemplate the question of “what’s next?”  People are asking—and then learning not to ask.  I need to get through the now, before I get to the then.

I just booked final exams for two of my courses for February.  Having buried myself in my studies for so long, it came as a shock to realize that two of my current four courses will be finished next month.  My workload will be cut in half.  After another final exam in March, I’ll only have one course left to complete in April.  I’ve staggered my course dates all through my AU career, and I’m glad I’ll be weaning myself off AU, one course at a time.

Now I feel I’m rounding the bases, checking off the final readings, the final assignments, the final exams.  Soon I’ll be making the last dash to home plate.

With fewer than four months of study left, I’ve noticed an attitude shift. I spend less time worrying about results and more time savouring the material.  I give myself permission to submit assignments that fall short of my usual standards.  “Good enough” is good enough.

I’m impatient to be finished.  I’m impatient to find out what’s next.  I want to sleep through the night without worrying about an essay.  I want to wake up in the morning and not have to plan my day around school work.  I want to have the time for things I haven’t had time for—if I can remember what I did when I wasn’t pursuing a degree.

Home plate is in sight.  I can’t wait to reach it.