Yes me and my friend got caught in the middle of taking a selfie before the ceremony started!
It doesn't feel right to say that on Saturday, just gone, I graduated from my Foundation Degree in Children's Care, Learning and Development. I actually get to graduate twice in my degree, firstly the foundation degree, which is what I've now got, and then for my BA Honours (that is all being well that I get there! Ha ha). So in one respect you may think I'm lucky getting to go through this process twice and now I've been through it once, I do feel lucky.
I'm not going to lie in the upcoming days to graduation I wasn't really feeling it. I think my thought process was "why am I graduating now when I'm going to do it all again next year?" and "what's the point?". I can tell you now those feelings were very quick to disappear. Once I was fully involved in the buzz with my family and friends around me, I knew I was being silly in thinking these thoughts.
Seeing all your friends, all dressed up and making you laugh constantly honestly made me feel one hundred times better. Going and picking up my cap and gown, having hundreds of pictures taken, I actually felt excited albeit nervous too. The time started to fly by and soon enough I was split from my family and seated, alphabetically, awaiting my award. Luckily I got to sit next to one of my closest friends who was there to laugh and keep me under control. What I mean by "under control" is - it got to the point where we had to walk up and collect our award and I was stood on the side telling my friend I wasn't going to go up and collect it. My heart was literally pounding out of my chest, there were hundreds of people there watching and I didn't like it. People were getting called before me and then soon it was my name and everything just went, I just focused on getting back to my seat.
Soon enough that was all over and I felt normal again, I just didn't like the full attention on me due to the mass of people watching. Don't get me wrong collecting my "fake" scroll actually made me feel proud. When I finished my A levels I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do therefore I practically did nothing. Yes I had a job but it wasn't fulfilling in anyway and I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
I feel lucky to have chosen to do my degree the year I did simply because of the friends I have met through it. If it wasn't for them then I wouldn't be where I am now however soppy that sounds. Going out after graduation was the cherry on the top of the cake with my three closest friends. There was food, sick, tears, hugs and lots of drink and I cannot think of any better way to have spent it.
I can now say that next graduation is going to be doubly as special and although I won't forget this one, the next one is going to be the big one. In a way I cannot wait for it to get here so that I can say I am officially out of education. But in another way I don't want it to come because my university journey has been so full of ups and downs that I don't want it to end. The friends you make are friends for life and they honestly make everything worthwhile at university but also out. Make the most of your university experience, it's a bloody tough one but it's so worthwhile no matter how many tears or how much stress. I cannot express to you enough, I will never forget my journey.