Cue a very big sigh of relief.
It’s been four years – which I’m finding terribly hard to wrap my head around – but I am now officially a graduand of the University of Birmingham. Note not a graduate yet, but a graduand. When I get my degree on the 6th of July, then I’ll be a graduate.
This week, I’m jetting off to sunny Corfu where I’ll get to spend some quality time with my Kindle, which I’ve really missed in the last few weeks of Spanish grammar and end of uni festivities.
I’ve got a great reading list so far, including Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North. Also think I’ll finally be getting around to reading Asking for It by Louise O’Neill, which if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know I’ve been super-keen to read.
Check back here when I’ve returned from my holiday and you’ll find some reviews of the above and more!
So what can I say about my degree, and indeed finishing it?
It’s been a tough few years, and there have been plenty of times when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel or give up altogether. These last few weeks have been some of the hardest to get through, especially because I’ve been applying for jobs at the same time. In between revision and rejections, I was pretty down and frustrated.
But there is light, there is an end. And I will be forever grateful that I have my degree and that I pushed myself to do it to the best of my ability. I know these days that having a degree isn’t the be-all and end-all of life; it’s true that you can succeed perfectly without one. But to me, having a degree doesn’t just say that I spent four years waffling about Shakespeare and (occasionally) drinking.
It says that I know how to apply myself and how to change myself when necessary to suit what one piece of work requires whilst another might require someone totally different (that’s the beauty of a joint honours degree: writing about Spanish Cinema is a completely different discipline to writing about Chaucer). It says that I know how to read large quantities of work and articles and select the most relevant details; it says that I can discuss my achievements and work with passion and enthusiasm (after all, I am most proud of the two pieces of work I spent the longest on – my dissertations).
My degree says that I am hard-working, flexible, analytical, able to multitask, capable of balancing numerous tasks, and able to do all of this whilst having fun and doing the extracurriculars that uni students deserve.
So the day I get up on that stage for my graduation and become a graduate, not a graduand, will be the happiest day of my life. Not because my degree is over, but because my life with a degree is just beginning.
Who knows where it will take me? Let’s look back next year and find out.