Countdown to Graduation

Tomorrow marks the day that Graduation tickets go on sale and I am so excited! I have been waiting for this day to come for ages and after three years, I am now finished with university and going to be graduating on October. That means I have a few more months for me to lose some more weight (a weight update will be coming real soon) and to decide what I should wear. I think graduation is one of those days where you can feel accomplished and to just breathe in all the achievements you have gained after a long time coming. I have already been looking at graduation dresses and looking up all the things needed for the ceremony  like booking my robe and how much tickets I need to buy (I still don’t know if Vanessa will be able to make it because she has school). I am so excited to be graduating and ending this adventure and looking forward to starting more undiscovered adventures. 

Cannot wait to see what happens next!

The Best of Three Years

The three years that I have done at university will soon be officially over as the results come in and graduation is just three months away. I would say that I will miss it but to be honest there really isn’t much to miss except a few people who really made a difference in my life. That is probably a little harsh but it is the truth and they did say that the truth will set you free. While I have been waiting for the official results to come in from the academic board, I have been occupying myself with looking for jobs and spending some time with my family. I thought that the results would still be far away when I was looking towards the future all the way in May and now it is only a few more days before I find out what the undergraduate degree grade I will be receiving in October. Everyone has been so excited and all my relatives have been really supportive of all the things I have achieved in the last three years. This has made me really positive too and that is why I printed out all my essays that are 70% (A grades) and above so I have a physical memory of the great things I have gained whilst at university. 

I never thought I would get any A’s when I first started university after doing my A-Levels. My time at Sixth Form was okay but if I were to choose if I would rather do another five years of secondary school or even 2 more years at university then I would have gladly agreed. My grades at A-Levels wasn’t the best compared to other people and I just barely made it through to the second year and when it all finished I was so convinced and paranoid that I won’t pass my A-Levels (so paranoid that I started looking at other options and sorting out all the things that are needed for clearance). But when I woke up on results day, my first and second choice university have accepted me and even though my results were crap, I have made it into university. Phew!

Three years on from that, I am now sitting in my living room and typing this blog post and finally breathing a sigh of relief. University was one of the most stressful, headache-causing and nerve-wracking thing I have ever done so far in my life. The essays were an effort to get through, I had a lot of practical work I had to complete alongside it and I was always crying from anxiety and lack of sleep. But even if it was a terrible experience, I gained a lot of things in the process. I gained a lot of true friends that I hope I can stay in touch with for the rest of my life, some amazing tutors/lecturers who I have grown to like and those who have supported me throughout the three years. I have learnt about who I am as a person as well as a student. I have learnt A LOT about media theory, politics, journalism, web design, the economy and basically all the things that relate to media and those that doesn’t. I have made some great memories with my family and the most important thing of all, I did it all on my own. I survived university and lived to tell the tale. I conquered mountains of essays and practical work, spoke in front of a lot of people when doing presentations and got through the three years with an excellent outcome. 

That is why as a way of marking the end of university and getting the results that I thought would have been impossible to get three years ago, I have printed all my first class essays to celebrate the end of a stressful yet gratifying chapter of my life. I want to look back on them one day and maybe show myself as well as my future children how I did what I and others thought would have been impossible for me to do. I am so incredibly proud of myself and now I have several pieces of evidence of the rewards you can get and the satisfying feeling you get when you know you got something better than you thought you would actually get! 

Too Much Hair

I cannot believe I am saying this, but I really want to cut my hair. I don’t normally want to cut my hair because I prefer it long and it gives me a lot of ways to style it and make it (somewhat) pretty. But since the hot weather has arrived (well it comes and goes but summer is definitely on its way), I have been running errands from going to job interviews and getting the house cleaned, it has been really getting in the way (and all over the floor) and I just feel like it is time to chop it off.

This past month of looking for jobs and getting my results feels like the end and the start of something new, so it is natural to feel the need to want something difference or some sort of change. I feel like I have overcome a lot of things, not just this past month but for the last three years and definitely having a haircut would be another good way to mark the achievements I have gain and a nod to a more fresher and brand new chapter in my life. 

Farewell Long Hair, we shall meet again one day but right now make way for a new (shorter) hair-do! 

A Different Kind of Independence

Why living at home with my family throughout university did not hinder my independence but gave me something much better

When I was deciding where to go for university there was a lot of talk about independence and moving away from home and basically living the “uni life” without the help of your parents and being more independent. A lot of my friends were excited to leave Cambridge and go somewhere else to explore a different surrounding and see how well they can cope being away from home. At one point, I also felt the need to go explore another place too and get away from home for a bit just to see what happens (I mean isn’t that what every college student wish for?)

In the middle of my final year of A-Levels, my mum announced that we are going to have another person in our family because she is pregnant. I was of course very happy for her and having another family member is an exciting thing so my parents thought that it would be a good idea for me to just stay in Cambridge and help them look after the baby. I wasn’t really sure what to say or think. When I told my friends that I might be staying in Cambridge for my university, it was definitely a bag of mixed reactions. Some of them understood that its the best thing to do as having a new member of the family is an adventure in itself but most of them had doubts about how my future will turn out. People would raise their eyebrows like I’m a crazy person and those who had some opinions to say expressed it loud and clear. Many people would tell me: “It’s your decision, but if it was me I wouldn’t stay”“Cambridge is a nice place but I’m going, to be honest, your university is not the best [compared to mine]”, “Why do you need to take care of the baby? It’s your parent’s child!” or “It’s your life, Trisha. You shouldn’t let your parents control what you should do”. Those doubts made me start to think of all the bad things that could happen if I did stay in Cambridge to study. But even though I was worried, my gut was telling me to stay, so I did.

After the three years at university and finally having time to reflect on the meaning of independence, I really believe I made the right decision for me. Some people might think that it was a forced decision and my parents made me stay but the reason I stayed wasn’t for them, it was for me. If I walked away and went to live in another city or town, I think I would have been very sad, especially after spending nearly 7 months with my baby sister, Bea. I got to know her and if I pictured myself somewhere else and not had gotten the chance to see her grow into the cheeky and cute 3-year-old she is now, I really would have regretted it. Many people still raise their eyebrows at me even now and still believe that I just let my parents “control” me. People cannot seem to process the fact that even if I chose to continue living with my family, my independence wasn’t hindered in any way. I was the one who chose my degree, I was the one who managed my finances and sorted out documents that were related to university and even though I was still eating and living under my parent’s roof, I learnt that independence is not about going on an adventure alone. Independence for me means that I get to choose the adventures I discover and I get to decide the people that become part of that adventure, in this case, my family. 

Being independent means recognising and learning skills that you need in life that you can use when life needs you to survive. Yes, independence also means not having to be reliant on other people like your family- but being with my family has made me stronger than ever as a person, a sister and a daughter. I got to make endless memories filled with arguments and laughter that going to another place would have taken away from me. It made me value my family more because no matter how much we fight or make fun of each other, we really love each other and nothing can replace family. So, I didn’t sacrifice independence and even if you think I did, you would be mistaken because I learnt that happiness comes from the simplest of things, from the people who are the closest to you, your family and that is something no one (no matter how you say you were right or I would have regretted it) can take away from me. 

You did it, Mr Llama!!

Oh My Geoffery! After three years, you have just gone and finished your degree and going to graduate next month. Where did the time go? I am so proud of you, Hun. I know this will probably be really cheesy (but we like cheese) and filled with PDAs but I don’t care cause my awesome boyfriend is done with university. Woohoo! The last three years has been a total adventure filled with more random phrases and plenty of emotions. There were a lot of laughter and long conversations and some tears shed too. But despite everything, you just persevered and you have finally reached the end of your university journey.

I feel so proud of you and all the things you have achieved so far and I look forward to seeing you achieve even more wonderful things in the years to come. I am so glad I met you and got the courage to talk to you 4 years ago at the bus stop outside of Sixth Form. In the 4 years, I have gotten to know you, you have constantly been a positive influence and always willing to fill people’s life with happiness. You want to make people smile and you hate being part of conflict (something which has been tested several times during the three years of uni). The three years has been fairly difficult and you have expressed feeling upset or outcast but even then you did not let any of the negativity get to you and you made the best of all the worst situations. I admire your motivation to stay true to yourself and never let anyone belittle your views or close your mind up to the opinion of others. You went through a lot of emotions during all the years of your university journey but you have done so well to manage everything even it did require some extensions. I am so happy you can now celebrate and breathe away all the stress and just embrace the freedom of a university graduate (graduation next month), I am so excited for you.

Another thing that was tested was our relationship as we didn’t know how a long distance relationship was gonna play out as we both didn’t have a job so getting to see each other and hanging out was going to be difficult. For three years, we made do with calls, texts and Skype as our form of communication and there have been a few arguments about when will we get to meet up. I know it was frustrating and took a lot of patience before we got to see each other again on February 16 of this year lol. But I really thought it was worth it and even if it was a long time waiting, getting a few hours to spend with you was so magical. (so magical that I cried for two days after you left haha). Our relationship has gone through a lot of ups and downs, we have created new meanings for words and we have had our fights and random moments but all in all, I couldn’t be happier having you as part of my life, if not physically but mentally and emotionally. I hope to make more memories with you, my darling Llama King. I love you so much. No words can express how much I adore you and appreciate all the things we have experienced so far.

You are an amazing person/llama and I am so proud and happy of all your success stories so far and I am sure there will be plenty more now that you have ticked off getting a degree from your list. The world better be ready for Mr Llama, (soon-to-be) Philosophy, Politics and Ethics BA Hons Graduate to conquer the world as a musician/lawyer/teacher/pirate/gangsta fish/ whatever you chooses to do lol. So, I hope you enjoy your little break before and after graduation with your friends and family.

Go and show the rest of the world your swagtastic and chuggarific powers!

One Month of Job Hunting

I can’t believe it has already been over a month since I submitted my dissertation, the month of May has ended and it is now June. That means I have been basically hunting for jobs for a month now. May has definitely been hectic and filled with stress and my right forefinger glued to the scroll down button as I skimmed passed hundreds and thousands of jobs on every single job websites you can think of. I feel like day after day my head would explode and sleep always won at the end as soon as my head hit the pillow. I wish I could say this journey had been fun so far but that would be lying.

At the start of the month, I was ready to jump into looking for work cause why waste time when there are plenty of opportunities available out there, right? I was so ready to go look for some work that will help me get ahead of everyone and gain some experience in an area where I hope to keep climbing. I wanted a job related to my degree, Media Studies, where I can feel that going to university and having £27,000 debt on my shoulders would pay off (and be paid off quickly). I was ready to go conquer the Media world like those beautiful people you see in the movies where they are so hyped about the next step of looking for work and they just get it like destiny made it that way. Unfortunately, sometimes reality isn’t like what you see in the movies and the world doesn’t want to co-operate with how you see your life playing out. There wasn’t much media related job in Cambridge and those that are available require previous experience (which I don’t have)and right now going off to London or some other place would be pointless since I don’t graduate until October. So what do you do when no jobs are available that suits your preferences? You go to the next related thing that will help you gain experience, Apprenticeships.

I applied for an apprenticeship before and I didn’t get that. So, I was not too sure if applying for more is a good idea. But it was worth a shot and it WILL help me gain training and make connections with more people in the industry so its a start. I applied for a lot of media-related apprentices in areas such as digital marketing and social media. I just wanted to find something to do which will help me gain money and just some experience in a workplace. I applied for five apprenticeships in total (so far) and received one phone call. I was so nervous getting a phone call as I hate talking to people on the phone but I did gather up the courage to phone them back (I missed it and it went to voicemail cause hungry lol) and they just asked me to send them an email about the modules I did at university. The email was sent off and I never received anything back from them which made me feel kinda sad. However, I knew there are other areas I can try going into even if this did end with a dead end.

One of those areas was doing an internship around Cambridge which was fairly difficult as there isn’t much of those here either but I knew no one will take me if it having experience that they are looking for. By this point in the job searching journey, I was feeling a little down that there wasn’t much happening and it is not happening as quick as I had anticipated. I was also at the point of doubt and frustration as the only option ultimately will be an internship in London as there are dozens there. But even then and right now, I feel with how the world is going I need to hold off going further away but if it comes to graduation and I am still jobless, going to do an internship is still on the cards. In the meantime, my mum has suggested I go down a different path and see how I do in another career which is childcare as my work experience was a Playgroup Assistant. Many people have told me that I do so good with children so I thought I’d try it and maybe this is the path I was destined to discover. So, I have put aside all the media stuff for now and I applied for non-qualified nursery jobs and other childcare jobs such as playworker around my local area and Cambridge. I did apply for other various jobs such as a data entry clerk and an office assistant but I was rejected. But despite the rejection, at the end of May, I have been in communication with an agency which supplies teaching assistant and nursery assistant roles in various schools around Cambridge and my application and details are currently under clearance. I also had an interview for a playworker role in a primary school in Cambridge and another playworker role application form was filled out for another school in my local area. Everything is in the balance right now and I will update you guys with more information if I am successful or not. (either way, I am getting practice in doing interviews, making and answering phone calls and completing application forms so it is still benefitting me).

A month of job hunting has just finished and with the summer just around the corner, more days of job hunting is still to come. It is a long journey but hopefully a worthwhile one and it is all part of the adventures I will need to discover as part of life. Wish me luck guys and let’s see where this adventure will take me.

The Three Years Ends

After three years of stress and a lot of headaches, my time at university is done. I do not have to do any more lectures. No more participating or not participating in seminars. No more early, afternoon or really dark rides on the bus. No more pressing the button for the automatic doors so I can go in or out of uni. No more tapping in at every lesson. No more getting bombarded by people wanting me to do surveys or giving out leaflets that I will throw in the bin anyway. No more university.

I finished my last day yesterday with a quick review session for one of my modules. It only lasted 30 minutes which seemed pointless but at least I could stretch my legs a bit and walk around university for the last time. I’m going, to be honest there really isn’t much to miss at university. I know that for some people university is the time to go down pubs or go clubbing to socialize. University is the place where you will find out who you are and what you want in life. By going to university, you will become more independent because you are away from your parents. University will be that place you will miss when it all ends. But all those things were never true for me. I prefer to stay at home watching cartoons and binge-watch my shows than going drinking out and living the club life. I lived with my parents for the three years whilst I was university and as far as I can tell it made me independent in ways I didn’t think it could. I did house chores (except cooking but I promise I’ll learn after my essays, Mum and Dad) and my parents also let me budget my student finances and I was even able to help a bit with a few things needed for the house. Staying at home also made me value family more which I did not value as much when I was still a teenager. I know a lot of people were telling me that I shouldn’t stay at home because it will ruin my time at university but if I did,  I believe I would have regretted it, especially with my little sister. Looking after her has been the best time to come out of the university experience and the reason I loved coming back home to my family. My family has been a big support system for me and even though we have fought and shouted at each other several times these three years, we have also made more funny and loving memories that I will cherish forever.

My experience at university was pretty good but I don’t think I will miss it as much as others make it out to be. I will probably miss the friends I’ve made and the some of the teachers which have impacted my life in terms of improving me as a person or helping me gain skills which I can use more in life but the experience…not so much. It was filled with stress, I cried a lot, threw a few things, dug my nails into stuff, swore and raised my middle finger at those elements that tried to rain on my semi-constructed parade. I didn’t really join any societies or made an impact there but I was able to do the one thing which I came to do when I told myself that university is the way. I was able to stick it through to the end and make my family and friends proud that soon I will be done with all the essays (just one more to do) and the three years of university will officially come to an end.

As for university helping me find who I am and what I want to do in life… I’ll keep you posted on that one when I know for sure. Now it’s time to finish the last ever university essay and once that’s all submitted I need to go searching for the next adventure to explore. So for now, thank you university friends and (some) teachers, it’s been fun knowing you and make sure you keep in touch.

See you at Graduation. 🎓