Closing the university chapter of my life

How to let go and move on after graduation.


“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.” ⁠—Maya Angelou

With less than a month until the end of the semester, I can only begin to describe the anxiety and excitement I feel. To me, graduation represents one of the most terrifying, yet exhilarating moments of life. After all the late nights and early morning studying, passing and failing, switching directions and rediscovering my path, it’s no wonder the summation of it all feels like a whirlwind of emotion. 

I’m still coming to terms with letting go and moving on from my undergrad experience. To be honest, I am happy with my journey to this point. Sure, I made mistakes and struggled at times, but I overcame and pushed to where I am now. My resilience paid off and now I can finally start to enjoy the fruits of my labour! At the same time, I’m coming to terms with the unstructured world of possibilities that awaits, and let me say— there is A LOT I can’t control. When I graduated from high school, I felt trapped by this fear of failure and all of the “what ifs” diminished the positive possibilities. Rather than falling back into the overthinking trap, I’m finding acceptance through my fear and anxiety of the future. While I can’t control what’s to come, here are my strategies on letting go to move on (Alexa, play Ctrl by SZA).

Mindfulness and meditation

Now, I’m sure some of you will think this is underwhelming, but the power of mindfulness and meditation is no joke! To manage my relationship to overthinking, my therapist has recommended slowing down to listen to my thoughts when I'm overwhelmed. I’ll focus on observing my thoughts as though they are separate from me, taking time to observe the way they make me feel before assessing if they are accurate judgements. While these thoughts can be annoying and exhausting to deal with at times, I have learned it’s important to have compassion for my thoughts and feelings, so that I feel ready to lay them to rest when the time comes. In a way, these thoughts are opportunities to deal with the loose ends and remaining threads of the journey to move forward. Just try not to get stuck here.

When it comes to letting go, meditation helps to clear the mind of excess worries and ground oneself. When I feel trapped in my mind, getting into my body is one of the easiest ways out. Sometimes I’ll find a guided meditation on YouTube and other times I lay down and listen to soothing music, it depends on what I need at that time and I go with the flow. It all depends on what helps you get into your body and find that inner peace.


Of course, I recommend journaling. I know that it is a hit or miss for different people, so take what works for you and leave the rest! In my case, I try to journal after I’ve found a level of mindfulness, especially when finding peace where I’m at. With more awareness of my thoughts and emotions, journaling helps to constructively work through them, helping to discern what’s in my head versus the reality of the situation. That said, sometimes it’s nice to just vent it all out.

Mindful movement

Getting into my body is my favourite way of getting out of my mind. While you can play angry music and hit your arms at the gym, there’s also the option of slowing down with some restorative yoga (everyone has their cup of tea). If guided movements aren’t your thing, consider going for a long walk by a nearby park or dancing to some music! Remember that everything is going to be alright (Yes, feel that Bob Marley energy).

Express yourself 

As a creative person, times of stagnation can be fruitful in creating something I wouldn’t have otherwise. I gravitate towards art and music (have you noticed I quote musicians?), especially when I’m trying to express and explain myself to others. That said, maybe you have a hobby or passion that helps you release.

There’s beauty in the mystery and connection in the search for meaning. I hope this was helpful and that you’re able to find a level of peace as you begin your next adventure.


About Rain

Rain is in their fifth and final year of a double major in Political Science and Womens’ and Gender studies. When they aren't writing papers, Rain is trying to keep their plants alive, watching anime or philosophizing why the world is the way it is. Beyond that, Rain is passionate about creating sustainable social justice through their degree and working with their surrounding communities.