No one likes to say goodbye. Endings always leave a bittersweet taste behind and that is the taste that this ‘ending’ has left in my mouth. Today I walked out of my university for the last time as a BA Ballet Education student. I was there for three whole years and it basically became my second home. During my time there I met people and created bonds and relationships. I gained so much knowledge and I learned sooooo many new things and of course, I have also learned valuable life lessons. The end of one chapter of our lives always means the beginning of a new one and even though new beginnings are exciting, endings will always leave behind so many mixed emotions.
I feel like graduating university is one of the biggest, and not going to lie, scariest, ‘endings’. You have this security by being a student… because you are a student and that is it. You are doing something with your life and that is either being in school or university and it is enough. Yes, even as a student, you have to start making some decisions as you get older like deciding what career path you want to follow and what universities you want to apply to. However, they cannot compare to all the decisions that come afterward. As a uni student, you live on your own and you have to do your laundry and be somewhat responsible. You have to do your own shopping, make yourself food and budget ‘your money’. It is a valuable process you go through, which teaches you life skills but it is still not the real thing. You are a uni student and you are either relying on your parents to cover all your expenses or you are waiting for your student loan to come through, which again will cover your expenses. You do not have to go to work every day and make sure you have money at the end of the month to pay rent or pay your bills. In reality, you don’t really have to worry about anything besides your studies. As long as you are going to your classes, doing your work and passing your exams, you are doing great. There isn’t really much more you have to worry about.
That all suddenly changes once you graduate. Your life turns around 180° and everything feels like it has flipped upside down. You are not a student anymore and you HAVE to go into the real world and prove to yourself that you can do this. No matter how old you are, that is when you truly become an adult and become 100% responsible for yourself… and that for me IS SCARY. Is there a part of it that is exciting? Yes, definitely! However, that doesn’t stop it from being kind of terrifying. I have mentioned in an earlier post that I believe that all our fears are linked to the idea of “the fear of the unknown” (Xenophobia) and that is exactly the position that I find myself in right now. I have worked hard these past three years and I am happy I made it where I am but at the same time I cannot help but think “So what next?”. That question of what will happen next terrifies me. In a matter of a few months, I will have to get myself a job or anyway decided what I want to do with my life and just get on with it. I am not saying that everyone has to get a job as soon as they finish their degree. Some people want to travel, take a gap year, or two, and then pick it form there. However, even in that case, people still have to make the same decisions and one way or another get their (adult) life started.
There is all this pressure of what we are going to next… we already chose a career path by choosing to go on a specific degree but then as soon as that is over it feels as if everyone is staring and waiting to see how we actually start that ‘career’. In this society, your job is a very important aspect of you as a whole. And I am not saying this is a bad thing or blaming ‘society’ for this pressure that I feel, because at the end of the day I do agree with this (to a certain extent). We introduce ourselves and after we say our name, we state our occupation. Without even being asked, we just say it, and this just shows what an important part of ourselves that is.
What scares me the most, is not the pressure from the society nor the part about having to pay bills and make my own money. What scares me the most, is how I am going to build a career that ultimately makes me happy. I do not know what path I want to follow and I do not think that people can be fulfilled by doing only one thing. Even in teaching dance, I do enjoy teaching but I cannot be fulfilled by teaching the same syllabus to the same age groups, for the rest of my life. And honestly, no one should be. This job will pay the bills but then on top of that, I do want to find time to do things for myself even if they are not making me any money.
I believe that people shouldn’t settle for a mediocre life. Yes, I do sound like a young optimist that has no clue what ‘adult life’ really is like, but the truth is, I do not. As of right now I am a dreamer and I wish to remain one for the rest of my life! I am confused and I wake up some days feeling completely lost, not knowing which direction I should follow… but I do know one thing: I know that I have faith. I have so much faith in life, and I know that this will help me find my way. There is a place on this earth, for each and every one of us, and I am ready to find mine. I love dance and I love ballet and whatever my actual job will be in 10 years time, I never want to stop being a dancer, because that is what I will always be at heart. I have faith in that whatever the future holds, is something that will fill my heart with joy and love and will make me happy.
Here’s to (scarey and exciting) new beginnings!