Reflecting on the End of an Undergraduate Experience

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Quote the Raven: Rita
Cognitive Science

Rita

The spring is a time of renewal, and as we begin to move into the summer months (slowly but surely), we might begin to reflect back on the time past and think about the moments that have defined our experiences. As my year, and my undergraduate degree, come to an end, I’ve spent more and more time considering my time here at Carleton, and thinking about the places, people, and moments that have made it worthwhile.

Moving to Ottawa and starting at Carleton four years ago, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. The movies tell you that your university experience will be one for a lifetime, so I arrived with a sense of excitement, expectation, and even fear. I knew what my program was and how to get to each class (only barely, for the first while), but where would I be able to make friends? Or learn a new skill? And what would I be doing after I finished school? But I suppose what I didn’t expect was how much of my experience would be defined by factors out of my control. These questions didn’t have straightforward answers, and still don’t, but the biggest surprise has been the way in which those puzzle pieces fit together in completely unexpected ways.

My first year was marked by a steady commitment to classes but as I progressed through my undergrad, I began to expand my network more and more and branch out to meet new people across the university through campus jobs and volunteer positions. In the end, I’ve taken away so much more from my experience than just what I’ve learned in the classroom. Thinking about what I’ve learned in my classes, but also during my extracurriculars and from my connections to friends, coworkers, faculty and staff at Carleton I’ve been left with a deep sense of gratitude for everyone I’ve come across. Thank you for helping illuminate my experience with their own unique insights and for guiding someone who felt pretty clueless about a lot of things – and sometimes still does.

If this post could be summed in one word, it would be bittersweet. My experience at Carleton has been a good one, thanks to those who have made it so. But as it becomes time to turn a new leaf, I become more and more excited for what the future has in store.

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