General, University

Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.

Me at graduation
Me at graduation

Graduation. I’ve been through 18 years of education, and I come out of it with a piece of paper, and a mountain of photographs. Today, well yesterday now technically, I graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in Geography. I can now have BSc Hons at the end of my name. Not that I am going to start writing my name with that on the end, but it is nice to know I could do, y’know, if I wanted to.

Real-life, and future, and careers, and ‘what are you going to do next?’ As soon as you finish one chapter, everyone starts asking about the next. Today has made me realise that it’s fine to not know what I want to do, because I reckon I was definitely in the majority with the slight feeling of being lost. I’ve decided that is a good thing now. I will hopefully just wander until I fall into something I enjoy.

After hours of wearing those robes, I was a) boiling, and b) suddenly aware of how I walk normally. De-robing made me realise how heavy the robes etc were. I was quite content in them, and even though we all looked like idiots in the sun on a warm day, robed in extra-layers, extra black layers, it was a nice feeling to be able to wear them. I don’t feel that happy with all the photos, but I am so glad we took way too many. I mean, way way way too many. We are talking hundreds. There were some candid ones that we didn’t realise we being taken, which was a nice surprise, we all look so happy.

Me throwing my cap at Graduation
Me throwing my cap at Graduation

Deciding which college to join at the beginning of Uni was really difficult, and even though I didn’t choose them first, Pendle is just awesome. I definitely think I am slightly green and yellow for life now. I have loved it. I have met some awesome, funny, lovely, brilliant, intelligent, fantastic people, who I am proud to class as close friends. I really don’t know what I would have done with out you!

Undeserving, a word I have used a few too many times today. I feel a bit better about my degree classification now, and I did an extra award whilst at University that will compliment my studies. The biggest surprise of the day, a welcome one, was finding out I had one a college commitment award, especially as I knew I had been voted for it by my peers. Guys, I don’t feel worthy, but I am genuinely proud. It’s been a pleasure knowing you all, and I feel like I belong in Pendle. Don’t think it should have gone to me, but there we go.

Academia is a strange world. I have always liked school, University not so much at first, and it feel so strange to be completely done. I have my degree certificate now, just to show I did bother to stick it out (somehow?) and I keep thinking about a William S Burroughs quote: ‘The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.’ I’ve never looked at a quote like that and understood it, until now.

Travelling is the next big step for me. I can’t wait to go, it’s just 2 months to the day until I fly to Bangkok. It’s felt like ages away, and now suddenly it is on top of me. There are no big moments between now and ‘launch’. It makes it all feel so much more real (well not anymore real than when all that money vacated my bank account but…)

Inspirational quotes aren’t usually my thing. I like a good quote as much as the next person, but don’t feel the need to have them all around my on posters and stuff, I just appreciate them when they are said. I couldn’t resist the one in the title, which just appeared on my Tumblr. I found it very fitting. I haven’t really got upset about it all ending, even though that makes me sad, I’ve just tried to reminisce as much as possible, and look at what have learnt.

My friends and I throwing our caps into the air, my favourite photo of the day
My friends and I throwing our caps into the air, my favourite photo of the day

On that note, things I have learnt at University: Tins don’t go off. Neither do cans of pop. Vodka jelly is an art-form, but when mastered, produces glorious shots. Double hanging clothes save you dresses from the crumple zone at the bottom of the road. Don’t ever wear heels on a night out. I must work with people, I enjoy it, and I am good at is. Darts is the most frustratingly glorious sport around. Pool is a close second. University friendships are like bad habits, made quickly, forged strong, take a lifetime to break. Travelling is cheaper as a student, so go for it. Get a job whilst studying. Save any money you can. The snooze button is a dangerous hell hole. Normal sleeping patterns do not exist. Domino’s is awesome. I’m sure there is lots more…

Now, the observant amongst you will have noticed that the first letters of the paragraphs spell graduation. It started off as a complete coincidence, and then I decided, why not? You only graduate once, might as well make the most of it everyway you can, eh?

”Always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”

2 thoughts on “Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.”

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