Yesterday, May 7th, I took my last final exam ever. The class? 19th Century Chinese History (a class I actually really enjoyed). The milestone marks 15 years of “my time in formal education.” It has sparked a weird feeling of ambiguous emotions.
On one hand, I am nostalgic. I am brought back to my days in Elementary School, Middle School, and High School. I am brought back to my very first college exam and all of the memories associated with the classes I have taken over the years. So many good things! SO so many good people and interactions and experiences.
On the other hand, I am incredibly excited to not be in school. My entire life has been hurry up and wait and now, finally, I am free!
I think we tend to romanticize the past and I know a bit of that is at play here. To compensate, I will be explicit and direct: I hated school. Let me rephrase that, I hated classes and exams and homework. I use hate because that is the most accurate representation of my feeling: there were very very few lectures from very very few classes that I actually enjoyed and thought were worth my while. I think the education system has a long way to go and I think there are many many problems with it. Luckily, I am not years in-debt but have my opportunity cost – of what I would have done if not in school – is sunk at this point.
It feels weird to say: I am finished with classes and exams forever.
No more pointless lectures. No more long labs.