After undoubtedly the hardest, most life-changing, and monumental three years of my life; on the 18th July 2017 I collected my certificate, threw my hat in the air, and graduated with First Class Honours in English Language and Linguistics from Queen Mary University of London.
It was a beautiful sunny day. We drank Pimms, took millions of photos, met everyone’s friends and family, and sweated under thick gowns in 27 degree heat!
Can we also take a minute to appreciate how gorgeous my mum is (it’s also her birthday as I’m writing this – so Happy Birthday mama – you’re a QUEEN).
We got there around 2pm with the ceremony not starting until 4, giving us time to take many a picture (including the official photograph below), have a few drinks, pick up that all important First Class certificate and see friends we hadn’t seen since finishing a few months back.
My dad also spent £50 on a Class of 2017 hoodie with my name on the back, which my mum lost moments later…
The ceremony was as expected; kind of long, boring, emotional, and old fashioned (seriously, it was like being at Hogwarts). I was terrified about walking up on stage – I’m not sure why exactly, but the whole thing was fairly nerve-wracking. Still, there was something pretty nice about getting your name read out ‘with First Class Honours’.
We then went to a drinks reception in the posh library in uni (it’s called the Octagon and you’re only allowed in there for enrolment when you join the uni and on your graduation day). Tom also joined which was nice because he got to meet loads of my friends from uni who he hadn’t already.
After it was finished and the gowns were handed back (and we changed out of our heels!) we headed for cocktails in Soho and then to dinner at Berners Tavern (one of my fav dinner spots in London).
The whole day was so lovely and so much nicer and more fun than I thought it was going to be, and being surrounded by such wonderful friends and family made the day so special and so memorable. Really, it is all down to them that I got as far as I did.
So thank you to my classmates that helped me out, kept me going, and made uni so much fun. Thank you to my parents and my grandparents for your constant support (emotionally and financially) and for always being proud of me no matter what. Thank you to my boyfriend, for dealing with me through all the nights of tears, stress, and anxiety (and for reading and editing my dissertation almost as much as I did!) And finally, thank you to my lecturers, to my uni, and to every single person that has contributed to the past three years. They have truly been the most memorable, fun, and rewarding experience and I feel so fortunate to be in the position I am now.
Queen Mary, you have been hard work, but it was worth it. This week I start the next chapter of my life in the working world, in a job I know I would not have got had I not had the education and experience I have received over the last few years.
I’m nervous, but incredibly excited for what the future holds – this is real life, and I can’t wait!