99....98...97.., is a down counter that replaces the usual calendar of university graduating students. The counter stopping at zero bring the official recognition of achievement student got after 16+ years effort. There is a wide spread culture of celebrating the 100-day count down to graduation in higher education institutions across the world. According to different studies conducted by Psychologists, graduating students, in these days go through mind processes to join broader society more than any time in their life at school.
The ways of celebration and to do lists of things are different from continent to continent, and context to context. But there are some common things graduates do in 100-day countdown to graduation which include T-shirt Day, Graduating Classes (GC) football competition, trips to natural and man made sites and dinner events. In this article, I have discussed with some of the graduating students in Ethiopian universities on how they are going to spend the last days and what they are thinking about the life after school.
Ashagre Abayneh is a graduating student of Meteorology at Arbaminch University, some 500 kilometers south to Addis Ababa. Speaking about the last day he is having, he said: " We officially celebrated the 100 day countdown before two weeks. On the day we have listed out activities to do in the remaining days. We will have trips to surrounding lakes, after everybody got his suit we will have dinner at the downtown. And most importantly, graduates are concerned about the real life they will start after graduation. Therefore, we will have a guest speaking on how graduates passed the transition time after graduation and successfully entered the society."
Samuel Siferaw, graduating class student of Engineering at Bahir Dar University, mentioned that there is some thing going in his and his friends' mind as graduation draws close. "Life has been easy until these days. Today, even deciding a color of your suit is not something easier. The money you get this days are probably not less than to the money you have got in all previous years at the campus," he adds.
For Samuel, the most anxiety comes with repetitive visitation of firms looking for employee, as GC committee invite them following the schedules in the 100 days. The salary and places of operation are the major things among his long list of evaluations. "When you work in cities, you are always exposed to opportunities the life being harder. Even though life is very simple and you can save money in rural areas, you will be far from your families and important connections. I told you this, but everywhere I go or whatever am doing, my mind is full of thought about the future," he stressed.
Yosef Abraham and Abenezer Dawit, Candidates graduate of Political Science and International Relations at Addis Ababa University, believe that the stresses in the 100 days are the reflection of real life. According to them, in these days, the data analysis part of the final thesis is expected to be completed. On top of personal issues, the campus society's interactions reach their highest level and still there are regular classes.
"We are facing difficulty in managing all this at once. But, it is a good chance as we guess the coming life to be such a tough. But, let us be honest with you, the regular classes are so disgusting while looking other take photograph through window. About the future, we really do know that starting life from zero is not an easy task but we are not afraid. We do our parts, the rest belongs to God," they said.
The above discussions show that the 100 day count down brings some pressure in the deeper part of graduating students' heart side by side celebration with different activities. The universities has to consider such effects and increase the platforms whereby students acquire some training on the transition from a student life to the bigger community.
"Besides, I also believe in the need for frank discussions between parents and children about the future in a way parents encourage their children to not be haunted by anxiety."