The End of a Chapter

Well, where do I start? My university journey has flown by and I can now say that I am a graduate after 4 long years. 2020 has been a particularly weird year for many reasons – Pop Smoke, Kobe Bryant & his daughter, George Floyd, Corona, the cake craze on Twitter and Premier League football in June. The list goes on. So, I am proud that I was able to see it through and become a graduate in these tough circumstances. This period has made me think in depth about how I rated my journey, which I will now share with you guys.

Take it back to October 2016, I was a fresh faced 18-year-old who moved out to a city and university where I didn’t know a soul. I can’t lie, the first two weeks were hard. But after a while, the black community started to emerge, and I became more comfortable with my surroundings. The workload was quite manageable too and I would say that first year was pretty enjoyable. Toured a lot of cities, got lit and made a lot of new friends. Now onto, second year, this was the most enjoyable year but also the hardest for me. I wanted to drop out so many times but after a bit of a push from my close ones, I decided to stay on. A decision which I appreciate a lot more now. Living in a house with friends was very enjoyable too. Early morning dance sessions with music playing loudly out of the massive speaker we had, ps4 sessions where I’d win every Fifa match with ease and good banter and vibes all year round. Some L’s too, which I can laugh about now but it was all part of learning and growing up, I guess. Living with others also showed me that you need to accommodate for other people’s needs as everyone had their own little habits, and this is a useful skill I have kept with me. In second year, we all had to prepare for doing a work placement in the real world the following year. This meant loads of job applications & corrections of my CV. Made me deep how long real life actually is. It was mad, loads of setbacks and rejections but in the end, I was able to land a placement.

Onto my third year, the placement year. My year of awakening and understanding of what life was actually like. I remember my first day at work. I was shocked that I had to sit in the same seat from 8:30am-5:30pm. That was the hardest part for me, the inactivity and confinement of an office job. It’s crazy. However, I learnt a lot from different people who I would not have met in a different environment and became friends with some of them. I was also able to see the development I made within the workplace and as a placement student. More care and attention was given to me by my team leader which I was and still am grateful for. One thing I learnt though, is to make the most of your weekends and time after work. It does not last long at all! More time, I ended up on the sofa on weekdays after work, but I tried to make the most of my weekends by trying new activities with my peoples, which was useful for me. When my placement finished, I was gassed. Happy to have the shackles off and back to having ‘free time’ as a university student.

Now my final year came upon me. Bittersweet. I knew it’d be the hardest year academically, but it would be a year where I could see my friends again & chill. The workload in final year was harder and that’s probably because it accounted for 75% of my full grade. The pressure was on. The first part of final year went pretty smoothly to be honest. No partying and stuff as I wanted to put my head down and concentrate but my exams and coursework went pretty well. Fast forward a couple of months. Corona. Yeah safe. Now the university are telling us we have to do remote exams with only a maximum of an extra 24 hours per exam? I couldn’t believe it. They really weren’t trying to give us more time given the circumstances. Thankfully, God saw me through it though.

Now, I can say that I have completed a four-year journey which I am grateful for and it is one that has taught me a lot about myself. Opened my eyes to a lot of things and most importantly meant that I was able to be a part of the Real Talk Blog Team!

Seriously though, I have grown a lot over these past four years. Graduating is difficult in itself but doing so in 2020 with everything going on was a madness. So, I will celebrate this win and look back fondly on my time at uni. I have learnt a lot of new things which I can take forward with me and I am now looking forward to my next steps and growth as an adult.

One chapter is now closed. Time to open the next one!

Eric

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