Sunday, 14 August 2016

University Graduation: I Made It!

A special video for a special occasion.
I started this blog at the beginning of my second undergraduate year, as a way to document my life through my University experience and any personal growth that involved courageous acts - something for me to look back on when I was older. In life, sometimes things are perceived to happen cyclically. It will not be long until something comes 'full circle', for everything to make sense. Well, my University journey did not happen cyclically, if anything it went on a huge tangent.

Yes, University does not last for ever and as we enter University to get a degree, grow into adults, and acquire new skills it will not be long until we re allowed back into the world. Likely, we are completely new people by the time we graduate. An evolved sense of self that hopefully will allow us to interact with the world in a bold, courageous, and more pragmatic way. In many ways than one, there were times in which I did not believe that I would or would be capable of completing my degree. There were moments of intense hardship, vigilance, and triumph that I had to experience in order for me to get to the next day, week, month of my course. Fortunately, I had teachers in my University life that really helped me formulate the skills required in order for me to survive and then thrive through my degree. Some of these teachers were my lecturers and supervisors. Others were students who were in the year(s) older than me, who dared me to go beyond the limitations I put upon myself and urged me to see life a bit differently. University is an experience that will change you whether you want it to or not. For me, before entering University I was a person who rather observe things than really join in. My University experience was about taking part in opportunities that presented themselves which allowed me change my perspective of who I am, to experience pain, elation, shock, a sense of pride through a multitude of different situations and interactions.

Now that I am technically in my fourth year of University, I am not done yet. Little did I know when I entered University that I would be doing a PhD at the beginning of my fourth year:
- Which meant that I had to pull out from my integrated Masters degree, which I originally signed up for;
- That I would be researching in a field that did not really exist publicly when I entered University;
- Which would become an opportunity that would fulfill many other aspirations and give me a desired lifestyle which I wanted but not sure how it would happen.

My University journey has deviated from the cyclic path it was meant to be; going into territory which I did not know was available for me to explore. Though, it is an exciting time for me and with this new chapter I wanted to close the chapter of my undergraduate days with a lovely memory.
My undergraduate coursemates are some of the best people I met throughout my whole University experience. Mostly guys, but this was irrelevant as their characters, humours, and sense of community really helped form a strong bond in our year group.  Graduation was a time when we really looked at each other with a sense of pride, remembering how far we have come collectively and that, deep down, we probably would not have got to this point if we had not supported each other emotionally and academically (stressing over coursework and forming study groups can really make a team stronger and form friendships) along the way.
To honour that time in some sense, I wanted to attend my University graduation ceremony with my coursemates. I was given the opportunity to skip it, - as on the University system I am already recognised as a graduate as I had to switch from Bacherlors to PhD - but I felt it was incredibly important to experience graduation for the first time and to celebrate it with my coursemates who had been with me since day one of my University life.

Therefore, to close my undergraduate chapter and to have something to look back on I made a vlog detailing the special day:


The vlog!

My University experience is not over yet, and I am excited about that prospect as there are so many lessons I have yet to learn. How will I evolve from here? What will I do? What will I see? How will I feel? My existing perceptions may stay the same or change. The uncertainty can translate as fear but surely that would mean that more courage is also for the taking. I sure know how fun taking courage can be. ;)


Take Courage,

Olivia

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