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HERE WE ARE, the third, fourth, and fifth years of the University of Ottawa community, at the end of the road. About to walk away from this school, some students are ready to hit the road running. Some, though, are going to miss this place.

This time last year, I stared longingly at those who were on their way out. I remember eyeing that “Request to Graduate” button on Rabaska, so envious was I. Then, all of sudden, it was my turn. And what did I do? I put it off until last week.

Yes, last week, with a whopping 14 days until the deadline, I finally requested to graduate myself. I don’t know what exactly happens if you miss the March 31 deadline, but in my mind, you go to hit the button and a little dancing man pops up singing, “You’re ours for another whole semester, sucker!”

Despite feeling surprisingly not so ready to go, the button has been pressed, the grad photos ordered, and the days left to cross off on my calendar seem to be decreasing at an ever-increasing rate.

Of the countless graduating students, everyone takes a different approach to their final year. Some have studied harder than ever, clocking in more hours at Morriset than an industrial worker in a Charles Dickens novel. Others have spread it out, determined to live it up and make the most of their remaining time. Half seem to know exactly what they want to do, while others have a more laidback approach.

It is a rollercoaster of grad school applications, job interviews, travel plans—but we all have one thing in common. We won’t be coming back to U of O in the fall. It’s closing time.

There are those who cannot wait to drop the pencil and blow this popsicle stand after the final exam. Some are staying on for one last golden summer in the capital. Despite which category you may find yourself in, make the most of it. Clichés exist for a reason. There is certain degree of truth to be found in them.

Whether you choose to embrace or just get through the finale of the undergrad degree, it is coming to an end. Be big or be casual, but take note: We’ve done our time, written how many papers, labs, midterms, and finals, and we deserve to enjoy what’s left of our time here.

We may not know where our degrees will take us just yet, but in a few short weeks we will have them, and that is an accomplishment to revel in. However your time here has been spent, the friends you’ve made, the times you’ll never forget or never care to remember, you’ve reached the finish line, friends. Cheers to our U of O years.

—Sasha Saunders