Even in uncertain times, everything will be all right
There is something about graduating in less than a week that makes you feel as though you’re supposed to be moving 200 mph, hurtling toward a future that you have already mapped out.
But if the last four years have taught me anything, it is that no matter how fast or slow you move, you’ll always be all right in the end. And it won’t be because you decided to major in journalism or English or psychology or whatever, and it won’t be because you decided not to major in any of those things.
It will not be all right because you took this internship or that job offer. It won’t be because you participated in a particular number of clubs or joined an honor society or stressed yourself out until you found your head over a toilet, heaving up that morning’s Red Bull and four cups of coffee.
You will be all right because we pretty much always end up at the same place, at all right, no matter what we did on the way there.
Lately, I have wondered if my answer is inadequate when people ask about my post-grad plans. I have a summer internship, but shouldn’t I have a real job lined up? Shouldn’t I already know how to cook more than pasta or balance a checkbook? Why do I still sometimes eat ice cream for breakfast and skip washing my face at night?
Four years ago, if asked, would I have predicted that I would be all right this year, in May, just days before graduation?
I am so grateful for what I have found at the UA — the mentors in professors and faculty, kindred spirits in my peers. Will there ever be another period of my life marked by 3 a.m. trips to IHOP, hours of lingering at the table after the check has been paid, personal notes from role models saying, “I know you can do this”?
At the UA, I have found forgiveness for my mistakes and camaraderie in the middle of the night. But perhaps most importantly, I have found my faith in the uncertain.
I like thinking of the person I was freshman year — a little hesitant, cautious, quiet. It wasn’t until May that I walked into the Daily Wildcat newsroom and picked up an application, and even then I wasn’t sure I’d return.
And yet here I am, leaving the Wildcat after three remarkable years — still a little hesitant, cautious and quiet. But also, I hope, a little braver and wiser.
I love that kid from four years ago because she was sort of naive and scared and so hopeful. She knew I would be all right in the end, even if I got there a little bruised and worn from the trip.
So that’s what I’ll be hanging on to during graduation, when I’m holding my breath, trying not to trip as I reach for that fake diploma they’ll hand out during the ceremony; when I’m searching for the answer to, “What are you doing after graduation?” When I’m packing up my desk in the newsroom and my bedroom at home, I will try to hold on to all the faith that I had on my first day of freshman year: Everything is going to be all right.
— Kristina Bui is the editor in chief for the Arizona Daily Wildcat. She is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter via @kbui1.