My Graduation and The Next Chapter

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On Monday 20th July I reached the culmination of my Manchester experience. I graduated from The University of Manchester with a First Class Honours Degree in English Language. My time in Manchester was challenging and there were times where I wanted to give up. I am so glad that I overcame the obstacles that were thrown in my way and achieved the results that I had always dreamt of obtaining.

After countless journeys from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly I packed my bags for one last time. When we arrived in Manchester we went for a fabulous celebratory lunch at Rosso, owned by Rio Ferdinand, which serves Italian Cuisine. The setting is elegant with stylish interiors. It was the perfect place to begin the day’s celebrations. The cocktails that we ordered were incredible. I had the ‘Serendipity’ mainly because I loved the name (isn’t that how everyone decides on which cocktail to have?) The ingredients were Sipsmith Sloe Gin, Chamboard, Vanillia, Lemon, Blackberry and Cranberry. It was served in a tall glass and decorated with a blackberry. It was delicious! The staff at Rosso were welcoming and friendly…they even surprised us with a complimentary bottle of pink champagne, when they found out that it was my graduation…talk about special treatment!

The past three years have been far from easy for me. Not long into my University experience I started to feel really down. I was sad and lonely. These feelings started to make me lose focus of my purpose and the reason why I wanted to come to Manchester so badly. I started to wish away my days hoping for a better tomorrow. These feelings stuck around whilst I was at University but I wasn’t going to let them control me. We can either make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. I made a conscious decision that I was going to choose happiness. I was going to do whatever it took to keep myself focused on a silver lining. I was going to reach my end goal, which was to graduate, and no obstacle was going to stand in my way.

From my conscious choice to be happy, my life started to change. I started to be much more productive with my days. I tried to keep my mind off of any negative thoughts and instead focused my attention on the things that were making me happy and that were giving me the strength to continue. I believe that happiness is attainable for anyone who chooses to attain it.

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My time at University showed me that life’s meaning is learned in the experience. Experiences in life are given to us to help make us stronger. You can’t truly understand something until it happens to you. Each stage in our life prepares us for the next stage. At a time that I was feeling quite lost within myself I used my passion to direct me. When we find our passion it becomes our purpose. Most importantly University has taught me to have patience. Without patience I would not be where I am today.

So what’s next? My dream job is to be a journalist. For now I plan to work towards my dream a little each day. I want to intern at a couple of magazines to gain more experience. Experiences in life are so valuable. It makes us who we are, it teaches us what’s right and wrong and it helps us to discover our likes and dislikes. Our individual experiences are what make our stories unique. On a personal level, I would love to spend some time travelling around the world.

The experiences that I have learnt during University will always stay with me. They have made me into the version of myself that I am today. I feel so happy at the moment but it's not to say that I’m never going to feel down. It’s the picking myself back up which is important. Today is the start of anything I’ve ever wanted and I can’t wait to begin the next chapter of my life.

Lucy x