A letter to future (graduated) Catherine
With just under two days remaining until I return to the Midlands and move into my house in Canley, everything has suddenly picked up the pace. I have found myself drowning in a sea of final year apprehension, job applications, timetable clashes, module reading and packing up my life. Therefore, in order to preserve this wonderful time in my life, and just embrace my narcissism, I’ve decided to write a letter to my future self: the Catherine I will be in 10 months time, when I will have (hopefully) graduated from Warwick…
Today you graduate from Warwick university with a bachelors degree in Modern Languages, congratulations! I hope your final year has been both productive and enjoyable, despite the inevitable challenges that have come along the way.
Naturally, term 1 will probably be quite memorable, what with the corona restrictions meaning that you have around 3 hours of face-to-face teaching a week (compared to 14 last year); the library is pretty difficult to use, and you’ll have to master the art of speaking Italian with a facemask on. Hopefully, the majority of those restrictions will have disappeared by Christmas, perhaps thanks to a vaccine (lol), and you have enjoyed a somewhat “normal” term 2. If not, and the whole year has been redefined by the virus, then I hope you have made the most of your teachers and your learning, overcome the challenges of distance learning, and managed to enjoy the last year of your degree.
It is unclear whether you’ll actually have a face-to-face graduation (although, given the class of 2020 are currently still waiting for theirs, hopefully the virus has not already caused a whole stack of “ungraduated” graduates…) but I hope you are taking the time to reflect on what a wonderful experience you have had at Warwick, and all the effort you have put in to the various aspects of your four years: your studies, your year abroad, your summer jobs and internships, your friendships and memories. Regardless of the grade and the form of the ceremony, graduation is something to celebrate, so enjoy today with your family and fellow graduates.
I won’t lie, Catherine, I hope you’ve got some form of plan for what you’re going to do now you’ve finished, whether that is a masters degree, or if you have found a job. Although, if you’ve made it through final exams without any semblance of a next-step, that shows quite a lot of personal growth in terms of calmness and your ability to hold-it-together. Currently, you’re applying to a lot of jobs, and eyeing up some potential masters degrees, so hopefully you’re reading this now smiling, knowing what is coming next, be it education or employment.
In your intermediate year, you tried out a lot of new things; I hope that in spite of the restrictions and how busy the year probably was, you found a way to enjoy the beautiful spontaneity that often is at the heart of the university experience. Whilst the freshers’ events for this year are certainly laughable, perhaps you’ve found a new society or hobby, and you’ve met some new incredible people.
I hope you’ve enjoyed your final year, and managed to find the positive in every setback and challenge. Or, at least tried to look at it from the bright side after crying for a bit. I know that the friends you’ve already met will be invaluable this year.
Finally, Catherine, I really, really hope you’ve been able to half-drunkenly watch Eurovision 2021 on the piazza, and enjoy the greatest night on the Warwick campus, because losing out on the 2020 experience was the worst.
(almost final year) Catherine