So much of my energy over the past three years has been dedicated to gaining a single sheet of paper. It’s not an especially unique piece of paper. After all, millions of other people across England and the world will have very similar slips of paper of their own.
It’s odd that something so small can grow to mean so much.
I’ve been studying History in a small market city in northern England for the last three years, developing from a teenager who furiously wrote through the night to hand in half-developed scribbles to lecturers who despaired of our laziness into someone who actually cares.
Learning to care about the work I do is perhaps one of the greatest lessons I’ve been taught during my university experience, but only because it came from within. I taught myself that I wanted to be proud of what I do and I’ve made that happen.
The more you care, the more difficult it is to learn to accept that you can’t control every aspect of what happens. Change happens whether you’re ready or not.
Next month, I’ll hand in my final essay and sit the last exams of my degree. There’ll be a brief four week interlude during which I’m neither a student nor a graduate and then, with an hour long ceremony inside a centuries old cathedral, it’ll be done.
I’ll have graduated. The city I’ve both loved and hated over the past three years will no longer be my second home and all of the accumulated debris of my university experience will either be in the dumpster located just outside my studio flat or boxed up in the shed back home.
May is going to be a time of both endings and beginnings, of moving forward into adulthood and in saying goodbye to people and experiences I’ll never see again.
But first, I have to complete this final full month of student life in a city that’s not my own. I’ll be a student again one day but with a new focus and not in the same place, with these people at this time in my life.
This is a promise: to seize the day, to make the most of every moment and to have no regrets.
We are young and this is our time.
[Originally posted on Medium.com]