It’s exciting, thrilling even, to finish school and have all this delicious time to do with whatever you please. No more assignments. No tests, presentations, pesky morning lectures, and the grinding pressure to cram and pass exams, blissfully never to be borne again. But most importantly, that horrifying, relentless beast often politely referred to as your “dissertation” or “final year project”, successfully vanquished onto your transcript as a symbol of bravery and amazing fire-fighting skills.
Congratulations, you’re now an almost graduate! (We’re taking for granted here that you’re going to pass all your modules.)
And you’re finally going to get all that lovely, limitless free time that you deserve (if you’re like the average Zimbabwean graduate that is). Except…it’s really not all that lovely. This sad, painful realisation came to me on Day 4 of this amazing limitless time. The horror of it sort of dawned on me in slow motion, like a poorly produced African movie with all the bad acting and jarring background sounds. There is just no other way to describe it.
The oddest thing is that you know what’s coming before you even get there, and yet somehow you’re not prepared for it. You know that Week 2 of the vacation can start to leave a sour taste in your mouth when the resting period is over, yet somehow we eagerly await this glorious period. Only this time it’s not a vacation, it’s real life. It’s life outside the comfort of the cozy, artificial bubble inherent to the college experience that so many of us had (have) the privilege to enjoy. It’s life with the endless free time that we so desperately craved…but there are hard truths to it we previously refused to scrutinize, but cannot be ignored for too long.
The painful truth is that limitless time comes at a price…waste it, and you’re losing a precious commodity, never to be regained. But figuring out how to purposefully use it, is like attempting to persuade the eccentric painter who can’t be bothered to solve a basic equation, to figure out a mind numbing algorithm. Add into the mix the need to earn an income, and you have a barely digestible broth, only for those with the guts to match. Infinite time is only incredibly amazing when you know what to do with it, and have a feasible plan that you actually go on to execute, otherwise…to put it bluntly, you’re screwed. Too bad they don’t teach Adulting 101 at school.