Dear University of Leicester,
I have started and restarted this blog post two or three times now, in search of the right words to sum up my graduation experience. I couldn’t do it. It still doesn’t feel real yet. So, instead, I am writing to you to summarise my time here; to summarise the time of one of your many students, and let you know what studying within you has meant to me.
First of all, thanks for the degree. That’s what I was here for, obviously. I’ve worked unbelievably hard these last three years, and did manage to get myself a degree in Mathematics. I even have the certificate to prove it. Thank you for such great lecturers, tutors and support staff within the department. I could not have done it without any of them.
More than this though, I got so much more out of you than just my degree. I’ve previously written a blog about some other things I learned whilst here, (maybe you saw it?), but that was much more comical. This isn’t the moment for that, I don’t think.
I’ve made some amazing friends here. Thank you for those. These people have pulled me through my time here: making me laugh so much it hurt; being a shoulder when I needed it; sharing some amazing memories; and listening to me rant about maths, which was probably very boring for them but invaluable to me. From my housemates to my course mates and my rugby ladies, I’ve met so many people I wouldn’t have thought would be my friends, if you’d have asked me three years ago. Now, they are my family.
With three years down, 16 days ago I stood in DeMontfort hall for my graduation ceremony, in a mortar board that was slightly too big, alongside all my friends. As they closed the ceremony I had a tear in my eye. Yes, I am a sap, but it was so overwhelming that I couldn’t help it. We went outside, we threw our hats (I hit myself in the face), we hugged, and we all parted ways. It was a small moment of sadness leaving them, in a day that was so happy I couldn’t stop grinning. I was so glad to share that day with my friends and family.
These three years weren’t always the easiest ride, I’ve said that before, but I did it. I really did it. Once or twice I thought about leaving, and looking back now, I’m so glad I stuck it out, because I wouldn’t have the memories and stories I have, or any idea of what to do with my life. I’d like to take a second to thank every person that helped me through my worst, this degree is as much yours as it is mine. This is a letter to you, Leicester, but also to them. You know who you are, so thank you. Sincerely.
So, where am I going next? Well, you’re not rid of me yet, University of Leicester. I’ll be back in September to study for a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics. I’m going to be a teacher. A real teacher.
And what of my blog? I’ll be stepping aside from the maths blog, and moving over to blog as a post-grad. You just can’t get rid of me. Taking over on the maths front will be Lois, and I wish her all the best of luck!
In short, thank you for the last three years, UoL, and I look forward to the next one (or few!).
All the best,