Onto tomorrow

That’s it, school, college and university are all over, so now what? I’ve lived a life destined for education, as I finished one I entered another so now it’s time to say goodbye to classrooms, teachers and notebooks and hello to a first-hand experience to learning about life. While we will never know what life is, why it exists, or how it was created, what we can do is learn about how we live, the ways others live and how to achieve the most from it.

I have no regrets about my education, quite the opposite really. I never really thought about my future when I was younger – wasn’t too sure about university, it’s purpose or what I’d gain from it. I applied because it was what was right at the time and I thought it would help pave my future. I didn’t want to be away from home, deciding first to commute to university – hence why I chose Portsmouth. Within the first month I realized moving away maybe isn’t all that bad. Within a month I was staying with friends three nights a week to get the most of university and had decided come second year, I would move in properly. First year has to be the best – meeting new people, experiencing a whole new way of life, learning about yourself, reading about a subject you have a passion for – what isn’t there to like? You meet so many people in your first year, many of which go different paths whilst at university, but they are the friendships you will always cherish. They were the times at university where everything was new, exciting and carefree. First year is the year you go all out, the year where you do anything and everything that crosses your mind because, well, why not? I met so many people in my first year, spent many days and nights with people I was proud to call my friends, but I’m even prouder now to see just how far they have all come.

Second year was a little harder as to be expected – the workload increases and it counts towards your degree so now is the time you start to focus more on the degree. But second year is also the year you realize who your friends are. You get the chance to choose who you live with, and I wouldn’t change my choice even if I could. Those I lived with in second year, really were like a family to me. The laughs, drinks, naps and chats we shared will be forever remembered. It was in my second year that I met someone that, little did I know, would change my life. I believe that every person we meet help guide us on our path, and without them, we wouldn’t be who we are today. Some situations may appear bad at the time, but when looking back, can appear to be a blessing. In my second year, December 2013 to be precise (which sounds like ages ago now) I met someone who I was able to communicate with in a way I had never done so before. Within days I was able to say my true feelings, every thought that had ever crossed my mind, every fear I possessed, every love I had ever felt, and any dream I hoped to have and no matter what has happened since, I wouldn’t change a single day. Yes there have been ups and downs, but all the downs have just made us both stronger than ever. I am more independent and vocal than ever – although it’s still not easy to speak my mind, I’m able to do it now more before and I owe that all to him. He has helped me to be the person I am rather than trying to hide from it. I’m not saying what happened was right, far from it, just that once everything was over, everything was for the better. Sometimes we’re unaware of our actions until someone points it out, no matter how small or big. People learn from their mistakes if they truly want to and I believe that what happened, happened for a reason and that they have learnt, moved on, and have come out a better person. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, you can like and dislike who you want, what you want, you can forgive who you want, forget what you want, and it’s up to you what you do with your life. I respect others decisions as we should all do what we want, rather than what others want or what others expect – do as you wish and those who do not accept will go their way, if it’s what you want, and it doesn’t harm others then those that leave you aren’t doing it for your good, but for their own.

That’s one thing I’ve learnt from university – you meet so many people, hundreds in your three years, but you leave with only a selection of people you are close to. It’s a time of your life where you can really connect with those around you, whether because you have similar passions career-wise or because you share similar past times, some people you will leave university proud to have by your side. Its through your final year that you all work together to support and help each other, making sure you all get where you want to go and enjoy every step along the way. I owe so much to my course friends, housemates, lecturers and family for all they have done for me these past three years. Everyone has been so supportive to each other and got each other through thick and thin. My family have been there for me in their own way, while I’m not open with most people about my beliefs and feelings, I know that my family will always be there to support me no matter what I think. My course friends have allowed me to have an amazing three years. The drunken nights, sing-alongs and early lectures have been amazing. My lecturers have not only taught me about my degree but have been there to support me in ways I never knew they would – they really are a credit to the university. Housemates, no matter what happens, are always there to come home to, yes it’s hard to stay in high spirits when you’re under each others toes all the time, but deep down, they all have each others best intentions at heart its just at times, its hard to realize this. Finally, I owe a huge thank you to Colleen, my support tutor. She was the one that no matter what happened, what situation I got myself into, she looked to the best, saw the best in me and gave me hope. She is the person I inspire to be and without her I wouldn’t have been finishing university let alone with a first class honors degree. I owe so much to her, her support and advice and I will never be able to thank her enough, I just hope that one day, I will be able to follow in her footsteps.

As for the future after university, well, graduation was great fun. It felt like it was over so quickly though! In no time I had my gown, met people outside, clapped, got on stage, shook a couple of hands, walked off, clapped a bit more, threw my hat, had my photo taken, and then it was all over, but no matter how quickly it went, it was a great day surrounded by wonderful people. A few days later was gradball, now that was a night! It was literally the best night out I had at university. I was a little unsure at first, what with it being held at the union, but they really did do it up well. The inside was amazing! It was a bitter sweet moment though, it was great to see all the people I had met over the three years, being able to catch up where possible, but it was also a saddening thought to realize that for most people, it was the last time I would see them. After university everyone goes a different path, whether off to work, further education, to start a family or to move to another country, it’s at this time that people start the life they’ve always dreamed of. Its both a happy and sad thought, but most of all it makes you proud to have met so many people that can and will go on to be whoever they want to be. With determination, commitment, courage and passion, anyone can be whoever they want to be, whether you’ve been to university or not, no job, love or passion is beyond your limits just work at it, stay committed and one day you’ll be where you’ve always wanted to be.

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