It’s one thing to end a year at University, but it’s quite another to end a whole degree. To be done. Finished. The End. It’s a huge and scary concept that after four years of lectures, hangovers, late-night gaming, and shirking responsibility, “Real Life” is coming.
It’s a shock to realise that finishing doesn’t come with fanfare or fireworks – you just walk out of your exam and it’s done. You’re part of Real Life now and nobody else bats an eyelid. How depressing. You’ve spent four years working hard to achieve a degree, which you feel you’ve thoroughly earned, and nobody notices. Few people care at all. It’s completely anticlimactic.
And it’s even worse when you realise that you’ve spent four years at University studying Physics and you can’t remember a single important equation – you can’t remember any of the details you needed to know for any of the courses you’ve taken. You’ve only just become educated and you’re already ignorant.
It sinks in that all you’ve really learned in four years is how little you really know, that four years isn’t nearly enough to learn everything you expected when you were a fresh-faced, poorly shaven 18-year old.
So it’s a surprise when you realise that was the whole point. That “education” is learning lots of examples of things so that when you come to real problems in the Real World, you have four years of ignorance to draw upon. The four years is experience so that in future you can do being ignorant properly. And boy, are you good at it now!
I’m a Physics graduate, and I know nothing. And I’m glad that I dedicated four years to finding that out.