OK, so when you read this I’m going to be on holiday 🙂 Well, setting off anyway! I hope everyone’s new year is treating them well so far?! 🙂
On Monday I graduated from Swansea University with my Masters in Environmental Biology: Conservation and Resource Management, so now I’m officially a Master of Science (and officially a boff according to my family, but I’ll get to that in a minute)!
We spent the weekend in Swansea and on Sunday I had a nice little walk around the waterfront area with my dad. Amazingly I never visited the Waterfront/Marina while I was at university there, I suppose it was quite far from where I was staying and I never really felt the need to, but it was a nice little walk we did. We thought it was little but it ended up being 9km!
Then on Monday it was graduation day! I don’t think I felt as excited about this graduation as I did my first one, but it was a day where I could feel proud of myself and enjoy being surrounded by my friends and family as well as the university staff who helped me on my way.
There is generally a lot of hanging around at graduation, waiting for photos, waiting to go in to the hall, waiting to get your gown, waiting for your turn to cross the stage, and I don’t think I’d ever felt so cold standing there in my dress (and thermal tights)! Winter graduations aren’t as nice as summer graduations in that sense! I was thankful for deciding to splash out on the thermal tights!
We quickly took the opportunity to go and take some photos on the beach while it was sunny outside (and still light as my graduation was at 4:15pm)! I must admit it was lovely to go on the beach and have some photos! And my brother was pretty impressed by the beach basically on campus!
Then it was time for our ceremony and I “officially” graduated. One thing I really liked about this graduation was that the chancellor actually took time to talk to all of us and ask us a couple of questions, so it felt more personal than just a quick “well done” like I had for my undergraduate!
After the ceremony we headed to our reception for drinks and snacks where I met up again with my university friends (and our lecturer Cindy) and had a nice little group photo.
Remember back in September I got the award for achieving the highest mark in the taught component of the degree? Well I was totally shocked when at the prize giving I won another award. This time the award for the best overall mark, so basically I’m a boff according to my family! But it was totally unexpected and it felt like such a special moment to go up on stage again in front of my family and friends and collect a second award.
So that concludes graduation day! Is it wrong to feel proud of yourself? I felt so proud of myself in my little bubble that no one could burst. I wish my A Level teachers could see me now, where I went from getting BCC at A Level and thinking it was the end of the world, to getting in to Newcastle University, graduating with a 2:1 and then now, completing my Masters not only with distinction, but with the highest mark of everyone else in my year. When I started my masters I never dreamed I could get a distinction, let alone gain the two awards I have, but through many tears, hard work, sleepless nights, determination and dreaming it has all paid off and I feel like I really have followed my dreams. I know I did the hard work, but I know I’m so thankful to my family. For picking up the phone to me really late at night, letting me break down to them on FaceTime, spending hours proof-reading my work, paying for me to come home when I really needed it and helping to fund my time at university. I also couldn’t have done it without some of the amazing friends I met along the way as well as the university staff who put their time in to helping me achieve the very best I could.
Don’t ever let anyone stop you chasing your dreams, it may not be an easy road, but with hard work and determination you really can get there. Never get demoralised because know that somewhere someone is cheering you on and be the best that you can be.
P.S. Thank you to my brother, aunt, and dad for taking loads of photos of me. I know I moan about it and get fed up with all the photos, but I appreciate it really!