Degree Celebrations- What my degree means to me

siobhan
(Ready to party on results night)
It’s that time of the year where everyone is receiving the all important degree classifications to determine whether or not to stay at university to do a masters, or enter the big wide world. After three years of hard slog and an emotional roller-coaster I received mine a few days ago and to my honest surprise I got a 2:1. I would be lying if I said I didn’t cry because I did.
I haven’t had the greatest times at university and in my first year, I was so close to quitting because I didn’t click with anyone. Living away at university, even though only a short 45 mins down the road was added pressure and although I didn’t do too bad fending for myself and making food, I had no social skills what so ever. Being an only child I think didn’t help with this matter as I was used to just me. Of course I had a few friends back home but I could never really let my hair down and be wild in front of them because I had serious confidence issues. However I didn’t want this to stop me from doing what I came to university to do. I had many arguments with my parents about quitting university because they wanted me to quit too. They would drop me off at my flat after spending weekends at home and knew I hated every moment of being there because I was alone. I managed to get through my first year thankfully and after spending all summer at home, the nerves started to come back to me when September arrived because I thought what if I don’t fit in again?
I made more of an effort although it was difficult and I partied more, made more friends and actually spoke to people off my course a lot more. However in my second year I became stressed with my university work so much I made myself ill. I had already been diagnosed with a weak immune system by the doctor which didn’t help matters at all but I would come home after a full day at uni and spend most of the night doing work too. I found it hard to make proper meals at university as my budget was so tight and in the end I was ill every week. I had the flu 10 times, and other illnesses which meant I spent time travelling home to the hospital for blood tests but at the end of the second year I received a 2:1 and I was ready to finish my degree once and for all.
I remember coming back to university for the third time round and moving into a new flat again. I noticed on Facebook there was a flat party happening that night and I had been invited. I sat there and for the first time in my life I thought I’m going to this party. I had nerves of course but going to that party was the best thing I did. I made some amazing friends this year which I couldn’t last without. Throughout the whole year we made healthy meals together which kept my immunity at bay but this time I was struggling with my course. I had a lot of bad luck with many things this year on a certain project and I didn’t know if I was going to make it through.
It was the last few months of my degree and I was in serious meltdown and to make things worse my boyfriend of almost three years finished me 2-3 months before finishing my degree. People ask me if I was hurt by it because I didn’t really show emotions but I was. The first weekend in nearly three years I spent alone. I sat in my flat a big emotional mess because I felt like I didn’t have the energy or the confidence to even go outside. To be honest on the Saturday of that weekend I stayed in bed literally all day, I didn’t shower or even get up to eat I felt sick. I had always spent my time every weekend with him and now he wasn’t there I was lost and felt a big empty space out of my life had been lifted when I needed someone the most. At one point I was going to defer my degree for a year because I couldn’t deal with things. I never missed university and my tutors said how well I looked because I got up every day and dealt with it as it came. It came near deadlines and I handed everything in to the best I could do with the situation. I did a few all nighters to try and finish everything to my satisfaction but when I received some of my results this year I was left a bit disappointed because I thought I could have done better.
Results day came and I nervously waited for them to load online and to my surprise it read upper second (2:1) and then it hit me like a brick. All those times I spent unhappy were worth it because from the start I did this degree for myself. Age is just a number because at 20 years old I have a degree under my belt and I’m excited to get more experience to pursue my career in PR. At the moment I am unemployed but as  I tell my parents every day I’ve never quit at anything and I’m certainly not going to make a habit of it now.
The biggest thing I have got out of my university experience is confidence; I can walk in a room full of people now with a big smile on my face. I can socialise with new people without even feeling nervous. I am so glad I have been given this opportunity to do a degree because not everyone has the chance to. Now four months on after my break up and I’m my own independent person. I have payed more attention to my blog and attending the gym which is what I enjoy doing. I think without going through some of these things at university I wouldn’t be who I am today and I am ready for the next challenge ahead.
Have you just recently finished your degree?

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