A few days ago, I graduated from UCS with a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design. I’d been sitting on my grade for a while, so the ceremony served mostly as an excuse to have a great time catching up with great people. As well as making everything feel a bit more official. Being the sentimental creature that I am, the weekend did get the reflective thoughts going.
I became a much stronger person at university. No, not just because I learned to take care of myself (ish). The fact I didn’t know anyone gave me a clean slate and the chance to put my best foot forward with everyone I met. Sure, it took me a little while to get into the swing of things and find my place. Social media presents an unrealistic idea of what the experience is ‘supposed’ to be like. This usually involves making life-long friends on day one and immediately having the time of your life at a superhero-themed student party. Real friendships take a bit more than five minutes, I may not have loved my first few days in halls but the best times came soon after.
By the time second year came around, amazing friends surrounded me, both on the course and off. People that inspired me and brought out all of my best qualities. The keepers. Learning more about something that truly excited me with dedicated tutors made the working day a real pleasure too ( on most days – we’ve all had a bad crit aha). I felt content. I even took the courage to do certain things for myself, regardless of what others would think. For a serial people-pleaser like me that’s quite a big thing. Before my time at UCS ended, I made sure to push myself forward for opportunities that might have previously terrified me. What can I say, I like to surprise people. Especially myself.
Of course, the whole experience was not rosy, life happens. As a result of the incredible experience, a lot of things have also been truly painful to part with. However, graduation reinforced how I will always be part of the UCS family. The University deserves the recognition it is gradually getting more of and I will continue to sing its praises.
I like the person that University has pushed me to become. As I continue on with my next chapter, I just hope that version of myself is the one I will journey forward with.