As I was walking onto the stage at De Montfort Hall on Friday 15th July to receive my degree certificate I was feeling a huge mixture of emotions. I was hugely proud and happy to be graduating with a First Class Honours in Sociology but sad that my three years at University had come to an end. University has been one hell of a journey, one that I am so pleased I had the confidence to do (I can feel tears in my eyes as I write this). There is no exaggeration when I say the past three years have been life changing. Since arriving at Leicester I have tried so many things that I never thought I’d do:
Living in a new city is one. I had spent the previous 18 years of my life living in Southampton and apart from the University Open Day I had never been to Leicester in my life. So from day one I was experiencing something new. I have now fallen in love with the place and I already really miss it.
Going on a night out (and then several more). Prior to University I was reluctant to go out clubbing because I didn’t think it was my sort of thing. But, from day one of University I was thrown into a hectic 2 weeks of non-stop partying and I loved it! And so throughout the majority of my first year you’d see my down at the O2 academy on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and having a good sing-a-long at Mosh on a Tuesday. Here are some of the best snaps from my uni nights out:
Becoming a student ambassador. Before moving to Leicester I was quite shy. But, since starting University where I was thrown into socialising from day one, my confidence has massively grown. So much so that I applied for a job which involved talking to huge groups of people at once (crazy right?!). But I loved it! Working the University Open Days where I showed groups of visitors around campus and the Halls of Residence was so much fun. I also completed the Leicester Award by volunteering with the wonderful Environmental Action Society and even went onto complete the Leicester Award Gold which involved meeting with businesses and working with them to solve problems. If I showed my CV to the teachers at my old school they would never believe it was mine!
Travelling. In the summer after second year my housemate Emily and I went inter-railing across Europe. Pre-uni me never had the ambition to try new things and I would never have had the confidence to be away from home for 5 weeks. But, being at University changed this. In particular, mingling with new people and learning about their experiences gave me a new outlook on life. I started to see that I needed to live my life to the fullest and put myself out there. And so I did. Starting in Lille we travelled across 12 countries, seeing loads of incredible sights along the way, meeting people from all over the world and making some pretty awesome memories. My inter-railing experience was most definitely the best 5 weeks of my life.
So I have tried some pretty awesome things since starting University and I have massively changed as a person, becoming much more confident, independent and ambitious. And whilst at times it was a challenge (writing a 10,000 word dissertation was far from an easy task and there were certainly times where I was knocked down by disappointing grades or arguments with housemates), the good times definitely outweighed the bad. It’s safe to say I am leaving University with many amazing memories, great experiences and friends for life. Here are a few more pictures from my time at uni…
I would like to say a huge thank you to the University of Leicester for making my time here so fantastic. I’d especially like to thank the staff in the Sociology department for all they have done for me over the past three years. You have not only taught me loads of new and interesting things and helped me to secure a future career but you have also inspired me to do well in life and allowed me to realise my potential. My time here really has been wonderful and I hope everybody still at University (and those hoping to start in the near future) have as an incredible time there as I did. Good bye UoL!