I graduated from Cardiff University with a First Class Honours, a moment I had been waiting for for a long time. It wasn’t just the past three years working for my degree, but the past seventeen of my educational career that seemed to be living up to this moment.
I can’t help but smile looking at the happiness in our faces in those pictures. Hard work and dedication finally paying off. It’s weird to think that at a couple of points in my university experience I was ready to give up and quit. Sometimes I felt that university wasn’t for me. I found it hard to live away from home, my parents, my closest friends and my boyfriend. I found it hard to keep up with a clubbing scene that I had gone off of, and living in a big house when all I was used to was the small, intimate environment of family life as an only child.
But I stayed, and it was the best decision I ever made. I met some of the most incredible and wonderful people during my time at university, and I have no doubt that many will stay friends for life. Plus I realised, I loved to learn. Whereas at school my mind would wander, uninterested in plant cells and the Edwardian era, in the confides of a lecture theatre I was constantly inspired by theories and debates we would learn and discuss. I was surrounded by inspiring staff and students who pushed me to critique the world we live in, helped me strive to achieve my potential, and allowed me the opportunity to be creative.
Graduation day itself was a day of celebration. Sitting in St. David’s hall surrounded by friends and family – proud faces, tears and a lot of flash photography – there wasn’t one ounce of sadness in the theatre. Afterwards, we headed to the JOMEC building for champagne and strawberries and cream to say goodbye to our lecturers, and toast with our loved ones. Leaving university has been hard – I always made the decision to go straight into finding a job rather than going off travelling for a few months. I was eager, and ready, to jump into my full-time career at a publication – writing for, and inspiring, readers. I’m really excited to see where life takes me, and I can only look back on Cardiff University with the fondest of memories.