Anna the graduate…
I know, not so much of a travel blog this one. But I guess I’m taking it back to what I originally made this blog for: keeping my family in the loop of what I’m doing as they can’t follow me around like sheep! (…and they probably wouldn’t want to anyway!)
As you are aware, I finally managed to celebrate all my hard work from the past 4 years and graduate from Nottingham Trent University with a high 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in Spanish and TESOL with a distinction in spoken Spanish and my year abroad placement.
It’s been a tough journey to get here. My first and second years of uni were possibly the best two years of my life and I really embraced the whole ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. I made a lot of friends and joined both the taekwondo WTF club and pole dancing club and both gave me some amazing opportunities. My third year was possibly the hardest. I struggled a lot at the beginning. I found it hard to find my feet in this new city, with a new job as a language assistant – all made harder by the fact that my Spanish wasn’t very good. Luckily I persevered and left Alicante feeling very proud of myself and I actually cried at the airport when said goodbye to two of my friends. Final year was a different kind of tough. I was lucky enough to be elected the president of NTU Pole Dancing Club which has taught me so, so much and I’ve met so many amazing people doing it. I studied the hardest I’ve ever studied in my life and despite many obstacles, I somehow managed to achieve a really high grade and do everyone proud. Turns out 14 hour days in the library and all tears and breakdowns were worth it. Massive thanks to everyone who gave me tissues, back rubs, cuddles and words of encouragement. All those little things add up and I am so grateful.
And finally, on Thursday 21st July 216, I got to do this:
|Shaking hands with the vice chancellor
After I collected my gown and got my professional photos done, I met my family. It took mum a split second to start crying when she saw me! I gave all my stuff to my parents and they went in the main entrance to the Royal Concert Hall while I went and registered in the back entrance. I got given my seat number and went and sat down. I was sat in row P which I loved because I started university in Peverell halls, P block so it was like everything looping back around.
|Spanish and TESOL girls
The ceremony started very formally with all the important people (some of which are my past lecturers) walking in and sitting at the back. After opening the ceremony, they gave out the prestigious Vice Chancellors Teaching Award which I was thrilled to see given to Ronan Fitzsimmons. Although he was only my lecturer for this last year, I know he truly deserves this award. He is an inspiration to so many people in so many ways. They then began to award our degrees. As there are so many of us, they broke it up by awarding an honorary degree to an NTU alumni who has exceeded in the sporting world and she has played woman’s football at the highest possible level. One of the students collecting his degree was particularly emotional. He was a blind student who received a 2:1 in his degree and walked to shake the vice chancellors hand with the biggest smile on his face while the whole concert hall applauded non-stop.
Then they continued and right at the very end came little me (in my little heels). Dan took a video so you can see. Watch me trying to look out for my family and mum cheering.
After we all flooded out of the concert hall, we all flooded into the reception. There were lots of little nibbles including pots of strawberries (Will managed to eat three!) and glasses of “champagne”. Somehow we powered straight through the reception and went straight to get lots of photos so I didn’t get to see any of my lecturers and didn’t see many friends. The day was such a whirlwind and it was so stressful trying to really make the most of it!
Dad the photographer really came out. There are A LOT of photos of the day and here are some of my favourites:
|2/3 of my housemates. The girls that kept me reasonably sane this year.
Turns out I wasn’t very good at catching the hat…
We then went for lunch at a bar/restaurant called pitcher and piano which is a converted church and it’s beautiful! We had cocktails and yummy food and it was finally a chance to relax a bit.
|Despite the hat, I still got asked for ID!
After lunch we headed home for an afternoon tea with my housemates and I invited Tash and her boyfriend as Tash has been in almost all of my classes over the last 4 years and I wanted an opportunity for her to meet my family. Mum made a beautiful array of yummy treats including a pimms cake! It had pimms in the cake and in the icing and a pimms syrup drizzled over the top.
Needless to say I was absolutely shattered by the evening and my intentions to go out and party turned into me being very excited to get into bed!
All in all, it was the most perfect week to celebrate the end of an era. I’ll miss everyone and everything from the last 4 years (even boots library a little bit!). I’ve had some of the most amazing opportunities and made some incredible friends and most of all, I now have 2 more cities that I can call home.
Day one moving into Peverell Halls vs last day moving out of 31 Cromwell Street.