I finished my degree!
Things have been more than a little manic in the last few weeks as my life has been taken over by exams and coursework deadlines, but I can now officially say that I have finished my degree!!
It is a very strange feeling to know that I have completely finished, and to not know what is coming next. Throughout school, every year felt like it was building up to the next year, the next stage – from GCSEs to A Levels and onto university – but now there is no obvious next step; the doors are flung wide open and I’m stood on the threshold.
Finishing my degree involved a series of milestones which swung rapidly between highly emotional moments and complete anti-climaxes: my last seminar, my last day revising, my last exam, my last ever submission to Tabula… and before you know it, the day everything has been building towards has arrived, and you’re finished for good.
I haven’t totally ruled out perhaps returning to education for a Master’s at some point in the future, but for now my time in academia is over. Of course, it’s both terrifying and exciting and nerve-wracking and every emotion in between, and that’s okay. Everyone reacts differently to finishing their degree – some of my friends held immediate celebrations, others cried, others barely blinked an eye and simply carried on like normal. None of these reactions are the right way, or the wrong way, to feel. Coming to university serves a different purpose for each student, and so the varied emotions at completing that journey reflect that.
I will admit that I am feeling more than a little bit lost right now, but I know I’m by no means alone in that. I came home the evening of my last exam and drank prosecco while eating takeaway chicken and chips, which I would highly recommend as a means of low-key celebration. A few days later, I’d proof-read my essays for the very last time and clicked ‘submit’ and they were gone – and that evening I was drinking cocktails with my friends. The next few days after that were a kind of daze of waking up in the middle of the night thinking there must be something I’d forgotten to do, before falling back asleep later into the day than I have done in a very long time. I’m getting used to it now, but it does feel a bit wrong not to have a constantly evolving to-do list for the first time in three years.
I won’t be working full-time until the autumn, which means that I have the whole summer ahead of me to spend the days however I wish. However, anyone who knows me well will have realised by now that I’m not very good at doing nothing as I tend to get itchy feet very quickly, so I do have various bits and pieces scheduled in to keep me busy until then! For the next few weeks, I’ll be working in the gallery on most days to earn a bit of extra money (more about the current exhibition in my next post!) as well as relaxing as much as possible around that – which of course means substantial Netflix binges and books, so many books, which I can finally read guilt-free!
I’m looking forward to spending the last few weeks of term with my friends, before it’s time for us to graduate in July and celebrate everything we’ve achieved. Until then, good luck to anyone still persevering through exams, and congratulations to everyone who’s finished!!