I came out of my last final and breathed a sigh of relief and felt a weight lift off my shoulders…only for it to come down again when I realized all the organizational work that I’ve been putting off until the very hour my finals ended.

But my phone also started receiving notifications of senior friends who just finished their last exam of the year. Thoughts started to filter through my mind about everyone’s futures. The fears that these seniors conveyed provide a new perspective about preparing for the future but also opening ourselves up to the opportunities that may come in the time ahead.

For every step in life, there are new stresses or variants that come. And everyone has a different way of coping with them. Recently, I’ve found myself the most relaxed having a drink in a coffee shop talking with a friend or lying on a blanket out on the river to read a book while blasting music out of my speakers. And during these times I circle back to the uncertainty of our paths and how we’re expected to know where we’ll go and what to wish.

Whether we have a six figure job, take a break to travel, go overseas to school, or stay at home, those graduating face the question of “What are you doing with your life?” The friends we’re with, will we be with them in 10 years? The person you love now, will he or she be the one walking down the aisle with you in the future? The teachers you’ve come to love, will you face questions in the future that go against what they’ve taught you? As we leave the confines of our university halls, the world opens itself as a school of its own, where life is the lesson and there’s no redo extra credit problem.

But these worries vanish as soon as the group message lights up with the words “Who wants to go to the river?” Putting aside the worries of the world, we go to the river, away from wifi, music ready, sunglasses on, and enjoy the life that we have together right now (post-finals of course).