Graduation. A magical, happy, glorious (quite literally – it was 26 degrees!) celebration of three incredible years of university. Three years of learning and growing. Three years of wonderful people, great experiences, and a hell of a lot of work!
It was also a very weird day. A very surreal day. A day where, for the first time, a big question was ringing in my ears: what the hell now?
I’ve been in formal education since I was four. Optional education since I was sixteen. I am now twenty-one. Seventeen years of reading, writing, thinking, debating, critiquing, presenting… developing. At every point, I’ve known what was next. After primary it was secondary, and a multitude of GCSES’s… after secondary it was sixth form, and the challenge that was A-Levels… after sixth form it was University, and three years spent working towards a degree. So now, I’m done – and I reiterate: what the hell now?!
It’s a funny point in life, because it is the first time that my future is not at all clear. Vague plans are incredibly frightening – but also unbelievably exciting. Research is certainly the order of the day. Readjusting to life at home has been a challenge, and watching everyone head back to Durham or other universities felt odd, as I knew I was staying at home. FOMO is real, and social media perpetuates this to a whole other level.
Yet at the same time I feel so relieved. Relaxed. Calm. Thoughtful. Essays, the diss, exams, seminars, stress… all seem like a distant memory. I am loving finding joy in reading and writing again. I recently visited Canada for a family wedding and brought endless books on Canadian Indigenous Activism (I wrote my diss on this topic) – I’m enjoying reading them and learning new things because I want to, not because I have to. (10/10 would recommend ‘The Inconvenient Indian’ by Thomas King, by the way, a really good starting point if you are at all vaguely interested in this topic).
So where am I at now? I’ve had a phenomenal summer, busy yet peaceful at the same time. I’ve spent time with my family – both the ones across the Atlantic Ocean… and the ones right here in Grantham. Both equally important, and both equally as good for the soul. I’ve caught up with friends, finally sorted through all of my belongings (I had kept every school book/project/notes from the age of 10 – WHY?!), and watched a LOT of Netflix – it’s been marvellous. I’ve also settled back into my job at M&S, they’ve put me in the café and bakery – which has been a bit of a challenge! But I’m working alongside incredibly funny, hardworking and quite simply – brilliant people, it’s a great team and I’m really enjoying it. I’m also building up my confidence behind the wheel – picking it back up from initially passing my test three years ago. Alongside that I’m faffing with my CV, updating my LinkedIn, and doing a TON of research – I want to be sure that whatever I do next, I know what I’m getting myself into.
Before I conclude I must address the glaringly obvious here, that this blog has sadly not been updated as regularly this year as I would have liked. In a sentence: third year was tough. Really tough. Juggling my degree with writing for numerous university newspapers, a weekly radio show, voluntary student tutoring, being on my JCR (Junior Common Room) exec, having a job – oh and having some sort of social life and fitting in a bit of self-care every now and again, took its toll, and the blog sadly fell by the wayside. Not really sure how I made it through to be honest. Oh wait I do. An incredible family, and wonderful friends. You know who you are. Thank you.
Anyway, I’m now intending to update this blog much more regularly, between 2-3 times a month, so stay tuned for my musings on current affairs, updates on my vague life plans, or just funny stories about my questionable driving or the surprisingly large volume of bread I can bake…
Speak soon xo