1 clio: Finishing college: what it really feels like.

Finishing college: what it really feels like.

Friday, May 30, 2014

**a photo from Jilly’s beautiful home that didn’t make the final journal cut.

Last Tuesday I had my final assessment ever in NCAD. We each had a thirty minute hot date with the four main tutors from our department (all men, all pretty nice/encouraging bar one uninterested party) where we had to talk them through the research and implementation phases of the project…basically, you know, a whole year of work.

I was so nervous.

But here’s the thing with going to college and having a job and talking on the phone even though you totally hate it, there’s no choice. It has to be done. And so despite my racing heart and sweaty palms and the ridiculous “what if” scenarios playing out in my mind I knew that I had to walk into the room, stand next to my table and talk for thirty minutes. The sound of your own voice starts to feel foreign after about five minutes. You begin to wonder if your sentences are actually making any sense. You fumble and make bad jokes that no one laughs at.

And then it’s over. Just like that. The past year has gone by quicker than I could have imagined. Those thirty minutes felt more like thirty seconds.

I breathed and smiled and said ‘fuck it, it’s over.’ Because it is.

I’ve spent the last three days sleeping and socialising and drinking and moping and feeling all the feelings that go along with endings. An anti climax and all that.

My friend Gwen asked me how it felt to be ‘free’ and I responded with ‘totally exhausted and feeling kind of bummed.’ To my surprise she agreed and said she was in ‘the worst mood ever.’ That made me laugh. It’s funny how you can work so hard on something and feel so, so ready for it all to be over…but then once it ends you can barely muster up any excitement.

Do you ever get like that? I know once I get into the swing of summer I’ll feel peachy, but right now I just want to curl up and take a long nap. Which is exactly what I’m going to do tonight, once I’ve finished work!

PS: What it felt like to finish college last year. 


  1. I totally get it! I have had that feeling. It's the worste it's almost like the anticipation of being done then the actual event and after efect of being done.

  2. I am doing my leaving cert this year and my goal is to get into NCAD to do Fine art and Education Would you recommend the college?

    1. Without writing an essay here…I would say yes and no. It really depends on what kind of person you are and what kind of college experience you'd like! Best of luck with your exams!

  3. I completely understand! I graduated college three years ago, and it was almost ... anticlimactic. I took my exams, just like everyone else. I did my presentations, just like everyone else. And then? And then I was done, no going back. It was so strange. I felt a bit empty afterward, too, because I didn't know what to do with myself, haha. Anyway, I'm so glad that you were able to finish your project and present it. Congratulations! I hope that all is well with you now that you have finished.


Thank you for your thoughts and kind words of encouragement.

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