~You will be rewarded with a Great Honour~

Today, I am going to be graduating with a FIRST CLASS HONOURS!!! I still cannot believe it that I got a First Class grade.When I first saw it, I couldn’t quite process it that I got a 69.83% (which just barely made the first class grade) and the words next to it had First Class Honours. I just kept staring at it and shaking my head and I was really speechless. I never thought I would see those words on the screen. I was very certain that I would get a 2:1 because I calculated it over and over again (hoping it would be a 1st class) but finally accepting that I shouldn’t have even thought about getting a high grade and I am just happy with a 2.1. I already told a lot of my family members that I will get a B and soon I was confident that I would get a 2.1 (which secretly made me feel disappointed) but I moved on and just accepted it.

But those words on the screen when I saw it really brought tears to my eyes. The three years have been a huge adventure and like I said before, it wasn’t the easiest or the most fun thing you could do in your life (at least for me lol)  but I took it as a chance to prove myself that I can do it and grow. I didn’t really get high grades so I wasn’t looking for the top grade at all and most of the lecturers/ tutors warned us that not a lot of people will get firsts, so I didn’t have high hopes for myself. I cruised through the first year and in the second year and cruised even further in my third year, hoping for at least a 2.1. As a person who also missed out on things, I like to keep to myself and just jump hoping to land safely at least a metre from the edge and I treated university the same way. I did my best and if it wasn’t enough then I had to accept it and move on. I never shared my grades with anyone (unless they ask) but it always plays over and over again in my mind that I will never get a top grade and that always stayed with me until the results day. I still cannot believe I got a First Class Honour!

Getting this grade means so much to me for several reasons. Firstly, as I mentioned above, I am not the person who was highly praised for being academically smart and most of my grades especially A-Levels was so crap. I even had my doubts if I will even make it into university. But now, I have officially finished on a high note and I couldn’t have been more proud of myself. After all the stress, crying, headaches and sleepless nights, I can now breathe a sigh of relief that I am officially finished with all the essays and I am officially finishing with a First Class Honours. All those times, I stood people up and told them I was too busy to meet them (cause I was doing some last minute essays lol), the times I shut myself in my room and forced Vanessa to stay with me during some of my all-nighters so I would have some company, the times she was annoying and told me ‘It will be fine, Trisha’ and ‘You need to calm down!’ (which followed with a pillow to her face and on one occasion I dug my nails into her arms- I said I was sorry and you can barely see the scarring hahaha) and the times I handed every essay in thinking that it is the best I could and it is up to God what grade I get. I am one of those people who doubted herself constantly and worried so much about the future but always kept it to myself cause I don’t want to bother people. People would tell me it would be fine and I will nod my head (even if deep down I doubt it will be lol) and just get on with things. I never thought of the possibility of getting a first in anything and even though I would get excited when I got a first in some of my essays, I tell myself that I need to tone down the excitement so I won’t be disappointed. But damn, I did it and got an unexpected First Class Honours.

Another reason this means so much to me is that getting a high grade means I have ticked off one of the things on my bucket list, which is graduating from university and graduating with the highest grade possible. I know that going to university is a privilege as my parents always tell us, education is something people cannot take away from you and something you can never lose. So many people dream of going to university and they cannot afford to, so I feel so blessed that I stuck with it and finished university. I know this also means so much to my family that I am going to be graduating and there are not enough words I can write and say to thank them enough for quietly supporting me.

To my parents, thank you for always pushing me to be the best I could be and showering me with all the things I want and need. My parents work so hard every day to earn money to pay for all the necessities in life and they never wanted anything back except the promise from us to work hard and be a good person. Nothing can ever repay the unconditional love my parents have given me all my life but I hope now that I am going to be graduating, I can share with them the pride of this great accomplishment and a toast to the start of a fruitful future that they have always believed I would have.

To my sisters, firstly to Vanessa, you have always been annoying and we have had a lot of fights and I am sure there are still more to come. You have always made fun of me (mostly about my ex-boyfriends) but you have also brought some fun into my life by being my volunteer PA by bringing all my stuff for me up and down the stairs. Even if I injured you in the process or told you to be quiet, I always appreciated your encouraging words and your willingness to help me realise that I can do it! To Beatrice, thank you for helping me make peace with my inner child. With all the stress, I was always so serious about getting things done to prove that I have become an adult but with all the times spent with you, you have helped me take a break from being all grown up and watch cartoons and play childish games I have missed so much (plus it gave me a reason not to do my essays).

To all my aunts, uncles and cousins, you have always been there with supportive advice and compliments and even if we do not get to see or speak to each other as much as we would like, I know you are cheering me on with great enthusiasm. To all my Lolas, you have taken care of me since I was little and watched me grow into the person I am now. You have passed on your wisdom to my parents and they have passed it on to me and that has helped shaped my values on life and the power of prayer. I know we don’t go to church as much as we should but I also know that all of you always pray for me, for my health, my happiness and for my studies. I am so glad that both of our prayers have been answered and I am graduating with the highest honours. I will send some pictures over so I can share the blessings that God has given me. To my late Lolo Al and Lolo Ramon, I am so sad that you can’t see me graduate but I hope you are looking down on me and are very proud.

To all the few friends that stuck with me since childhood and until now, thank you so much for making me realise the power of friendship and I appreciate all the support you have given me (even though I didn’t get to meet up or hang out as much as you would have liked me to come and meet up). I will try and make an effort to come hang out more hahaha. To all the friends I met at university, you have been amazing and I am sure our paths will cross again and you will go on to greater things. To all the lecturers that taught me, you have opened my eyes and ears about social issues from theories that seemed like from many years ago (that I would have normally not even realised existed or wanted to read) but those lessons will stay with me in my mind and has not only made me more wiser but full of curiosity to discover more. 

After today I would be officially ending my university life with the highest grade and closing a huge chapter of my life. I cannot wait to see what the future has install for me. Let us toast to more undiscovered adventures that is now waiting to be discovered. 

Peace and Love, 

Trisha xo

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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.