SO you wouldn’t believe it if you tried, but I am officially a graduate!
I guess you’ve all heard how the last five years have shaped, killed, tested and motivated me more than ever; yesterday marked the end of an era.
Yesterday marked the end of my student journey, end of my student loan handouts and most importantly the end of me feeling like my life had run off course.
Yesterday was such a special day for me; one that I could never have imagined in more ways than one.
Graduation day is so exciting; for your families, friends, lecturers and for the remainder of the people surrounding you. It’s a day where splashing out on a nice dress, buying a pair of horrendously high shoes that you can’t walk in, chucking extra lippy on and spending ridiculous amounts of money on a posh Italian meal is justified (that and drinking prosecco and amaretto sour cocktails at midday), it’s one of those days that will go in the social calendar as one of the best days of your life.
When I started university five whole years ago, I’d pictured a completely different graduation day. I’d be there in a polka dot vintage style dress, I’d be a few stone lighter than what I am now and I’d be surrounded by the people that had shaped me into the first class honours student I had become. Yesterday, despite how perfect it was, didn’t quite go that way.
There’s always this bitter feeling when things don’t quite turn out as you’d expected. Five years ago never did I think I’d graduate in the year of 2016, yet alone without a man that had always pushed me to achieve my best.
I mean, my mum has always been my supporting pillar but I can’t help but think part of my achievement in life is down to the man that had only ever treated me as one of his own. I always thought he’d be there at my graduation, crying with pride like my mother did. I always thought he’d want to be there but I guess at the end of the day, some humans do not turn out to be the people you thought they were and maybe, just maybe, sometimes you spend too much time caring about the ones that have never battered an eyelid at you. I guess trusting, caring and seeing the best in the worst of people is my flaw but most importantly, maybe I wouldn’t be lying here writing this with as much respect, appreciation and as much strength if he hadn’t have broken my heart two and a half years ago.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the past five years have been incredibly eye opening. Seeing myself grow, lose, fight, cry, aspire, win and more or less nearly give up, they really have been the most testing times of my entire life. You couldn’t put a stamp on it, however actually seeing myself graduate, seeing what I had achieved and listening to those respected figures say that I was good enough, I cried.
Cried at the fact I made it, that the unhappy tears I’d shed endlessly over the last few years were worth it but if anything, I cried with pride. I still don’t think I should be painted with the same brush as those talented people I shared that stage with yesterday, the same people that have opened their arms to me and become the greatest friends and support network over the past year (I’m looking at you J, L & K mostly!) and I shouldn’t be told that I have the ability to make it, but at least now I have the piece of paper to at least try.
Looking back at my time at university I’ve learnt how to be a journalist, how to use Adobe Premiere Pro but most of all, I’ve learnt that through absolutely anything, if you really want something you can do it.
I’ve learnt valuable lessons, whether that is lateness can be cured by buying someone a large latte no sugar, that the computers in CA217 are slower than the ones next door or whether that is the most testing of times are the best experiences of your life. Without the absolute shite that has gone on, I would not be as appreciative as I am now.
- If my mum hadn’t have had a stroke, I wouldn’t appreciate the things that she does for me or how fast your everyday capabilities can be taken away from you.
- If my brother hadn’t of taken full responsibility and become my mothers carer, I wouldn’t have appreciated how much of a caring, responsible and just damn right amazing young man he has become.
- If my step dad hadn’t of left us, declared bankruptcy and cut me off, I wouldn’t appreciate how strong, close and how independent we as a family are without him. If anything, if my step father hadn’t have upped and gone, I wouldn’t realise that my biological father’s death was not selfish and that he acted the way he did because he loved me and my brother tremendously.
- If we hadn’t have lost our house, we wouldn’t appreciate or love the four walls that we live in, now we’ve won it back.
I guess, what I’m trying to say, is that bad things will happen, they will rip your heart to shreds, they will keep you up at night worrying and crying and you will lose the people you thought would stand by you; but with every hurdle comes lessons, and with every lesson there comes appreciation and reflection.
For to appreciate the good you must appreciate the bad and learn from such circumstances. I’d still be unappreciative, I’d still inevitably be blinded by the perfect family setup and I’d still be expectant of a perfect life in the future if I hadn’t have gone through the shitty times. If anything, I’d probably be a bit more boring and I’d definitely have a lot less life experience.
My time at university has been life challenging and life changing. I’ve met the most inspirational people, the most supportive and some that I know will continue onto the next chapter with me. I’ve continued to be supported by the most amazing family, my oldest and dearest friends and the people that have taught me everything I need to know for my new career path.
I’d like to thank the university lecturers that could have easily painted me with the ‘loose cannon’ brush.
Firstly, Craig for replying to my crazy, anxiety filled, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious One Direction subjected emails, never batting an eyelid when I arrived late without latte in hand and for never ever letting me give up.
Beccy for chatting the days away with me, always being there for guidance and advice; and most importantly taking your time out to read and appreciate my blogs just like this one! (I’m sorry for making you cry!)
Julie for always sending me motivational messages when I was about to lose all hope, for letting me cry in your office when everything got a bit too much and for always believing in me! You’ve been so supportive.
And Rob for appreciating the fact that a 500 word feature is a complete and utter nightmare for a girl that loves to waffle! Thank you for everything.
I’m so sad that this this chapter is closing but I am so excited for what the future holds now.
Life isn’t a book, it cannot be written but although my educational journey has come to an end, you can learn from life. Nothing in a text book, an essay, a mathematical equation is going to teach you more than life itself.
So, onto the next chapter then, let’s hope the next one isn’t as rocky.