Saturday, 17 May 2014

Time for a change - from undergraduate to post graduate

I didn't like the first version of this blog entry but because I was so busy with revising for my final exams at university that I posted it anyway. I was rather cross with myself at the time so now exams are over - rah! - I am reposting the entry.

All the changes and all the new material is in red so people can find it more easily. Some other material has been deleted.

Now that I am coming to the end of my time at university my mind is occupied with positive and forward looking thoughts. I think I am now starting on the third stage of mourning for Mum and Dad. The first stage was the nightmare stage where every day was a struggle, the second stage, at least for me, was the stage where the pain had diminished enough for normal life to resume and the third stage is where you feel you can "move on with your life" almost, but not quite, as if the bereavement hadn't happened.

My university exams started on the 19th May and the torture went on for five days. I had been revising pretty well flat out for the previous six weeks and I went into the exams thinking that I knew about as much as I ever would know! I had done lots of old papers, gone to all the revision seminars and spent hours and hours in the university library so I felt that if I didn’t get the result I wanted at least I knew that I have done my best. If things go to plan from September 2014 onwards I am going to be studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education with the intention of becoming a science teacher in an 11 to 18 school.

It was rather sad having the final lecture on the course because I suspected that it might never happen again that all the familiar faces would be in one place at the same time. I knew a couple of the overseas students were going back home and that they will not be coming to the graduation ceremony in November. I don’t suppose I will see either of them again.

On the last day we each nominated a member of the group who we felt we didn’t know to talk to for at least 30 minutes. It was good fun talking to Lucy. I don’t think I had ever had a meaningful conversation with her before and I think she and I could have been good friends if things had just worked out a bit differently. Her surname was at the opposite end of the alphabet to mine so when “practical partners” were allocated she was never in the same group as me. Such are the blind workings of fate. We hope to keep in touch via social media.

Graduating from university is an important “rite of passage” and for most of my friends it marks the point where they (finally!) leave their family home to live a more autonomous life than they have done previously. They will be treading the same path that I was forced down when Mum and Dad were killed – except that they will be doing the journey without so much of the ghastly trauma that fate imposed on me. I am pleased to be moving on - I enjoyed university but real life was still intruding rather a lot so perhaps I didn't get quite as much out of the student experience as I could have done.

Do I have any regrets about my time at university? On the positive side I think I did a degree course that I really enjoyed at a university that felt right for me given my fragile emotional state when these key decisions had to be made. I also think I got the work/play balance about right: I enjoyed all the athletics (and I will be keeping that up) and the regular life-modelling helped pay the bills.

Four of us shared a house for the last two years and that worked spectacularly well. I am pleased and relieved in equally measure that all four of us will have at least one more year together. My long-term boyfriend and I will be doing a PGCE and the other two will be studying for their Doctorate. So no major regrets then except perhaps the feeling that there were other course members who might have turned into good friends if I had been able to live in Halls.

The four of us are going to have to sort out what we are going to do between the end of the exams and results day and also what we do between results day and starting the next stage of our lives in September. I think we all need a holiday.

1 comment:

  1. You're doing great! Remember that your track record for surviving bad days is 100%. No matter how bad you feel you will make it through.