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All Grown up

On Monday I graduated. Four years at uni all building to that one ceremony and now it’s all over. After the late nights (of studying and partying), after so much use of Google translate, after all the stress, it came down to a couple of hours wearing a stupid hat.

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Dat hat tho.

Graduation was good. It really was. Even if I did feel like a dork in a mortarboard. Everyone was dressed up, everyone was struggling with gowns and hoods, and everyone was just as confused by the fact that we had to bow when we walked across the stage.

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My shoes were the prettiest. 

I feel like, to keep with the grand tradition of this blog, I ought to write a semi blow by blow account. But to be honest, it was a lot of talking to friends, waiting for the ceremony to start and clapping. I was seventh on stage so that was stressful. Nothing like having to walk, bow and shake hands in front of over a hundred people to make you want to have a practice.

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My uni’s twitter reblogged my graduation selfie. What.

My Dad came to watch, which was great, while my grandparents and aunts watched the live stream from the comfort of their living rooms, and then later, we went back to the West Midlands for a family meal where I got given not one but two stuffed toys with mortarboards on. One’s a bear and one’s a bear/monkey hybrid…

This week has been super busy, mostly because while graduation has only just happened, I’m starting a job tomorrow. Which meant moving out of Nottingham, moving home, and buying work appropriate clothes because I can no longer live in jeans…

I have a tax code. A tax code, guys. I think I’m officially an adult. But you know, I still have a Johnny Depp poster on my wall and too many stuffed toys to count. Ah, the joys of moving back into your teenage bedroom. So this blog will be coming to you from the Birmingham area rather than Nottingham. Seeing as we managed the transition from Germany to the UK, I think we’re going to cope. Stay tuned for posts about me failing to adult.

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To graduate will be an awfully big adventure.

This time four years ago, I think I was still doing my A-levels. And then there was to be a long summer of friends and holidays and then, then there would be results day. After that, as long as I’d reached Nottingham’s requirements, I’d be off to university in September.

I’ve been trying to think back to remember how I felt, which is difficult. Not only was it four years ago, but my Mom was seriously ill, which took precedent over what I was going to get in my A-levels. I mean, I must have been excited. Since I was about 15, all I wanted was to go to university. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I’d watched too many films, read too many books, but my heart was set on university.

Originally I was going to do English Literature. Then it was German and English Lit. And by the time AS level English Lit had finished bashing me over the head, I knew I didn’t want to spend three years at university studying it. So German it was. I made lists of universities. Compared them by what grades they wanted, how far away from home they were, even if I’d ever been to the city they were in. I was excited. Anxious to leave home, be an adult, learn something about Germany that wasn’t just the language.

And now it’s all over. My four years are at an end. It’s very anti-climatic. No-one warned me about that. My last lectures were exam prep that basically no-one turned up for. My last exam was a translation exam, so it involved lots of vocab learning but no heavy duty, practice essay writing, notecards filled with dates type revision. If I can paraphrase T.S. Eliot, this is the way uni ends. Not with a bang but a …huh.

University has been pretty great. I’ve learnt to cook, to motivate myself, to actually clean a house. I’ve learnt how to play Quidditch and how to swing dance. I’ve made friends and lived abroad for 9 months. I’m even basically fluent in German. And while I still ended up studying some literature, I didn’t hate it like I thought I would. Except Brecht. I do not understand Brecht.

Now what? It’s a time for making plans and moving forward with life. Which is terrifying. I mean, I like moving forward, I like the fact that in theory the world is open for me to do whatever I want. But the job hunt is not going spectacularly well, I have no idea where I’m going to be in a month, two month, three months time, and I’m not really sure what I’m doing with my life.

But I’m sure it’ll be fine. I’m scared, yes, but that’s not going to stop life happening. So I just have to get on with it. And if I can move by myself to Germany to a town so in the middle of nowhere that even Google street view hasn’t made it there yet, I’m sure I can cope with whatever is about to happen. So graduation is an awfully big adventure, but unlike Peter Pan, I’m ready to grow up.

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Welcome to the Future

Happy New Year! If you celebrate by the Gregorian Calendar, obvs. 2015 is the year of hoverboards and Jaws 19 and ridiculous fashion, if Back to the Future 2 can be believed. Which surely it can be, as Marty McFly would never lie to us.

I celebrated the New Year with friends and many games of Articulate, which has thus far set the tone for my 2015. Unfortunately, tomorrow means I have to return to essays because university is still a thing and deadlines are looming.

But before that, I figured I might take a look back at 2014. Because what else are you meant to do in your first blog post of the new year? Happily, I have a whole blog of stuff to help me remember what happened in 2014.

I guess the most important thing about 2014 is that for six months of it I was living and working in Germany. Which was an interesting introduction to the real world, but hey, it’s not so bad. Makes me look forward to when I graduate.

Travelling wise I did more than I’ve ever done before. Budapest, Warsaw, Belgium. A dozen or so places in Germany, not to mention London and Norwich over summer. You can find my opinions on the European places on this blog if you have a search. London and Norwich missed out on a blog post. Whoops.

I had my first real job and then started back at university. Fourth year sucks. Well, the amount of work sucks. Some of modules are actually pretty great, and I love my house (except for the mould and the washing up). I picked up swing dance again, which is ridiculous amounts of fun, and my appreciation of Quidditch, though changed, still exists because, damn IQA players go hard.

The highlight of the year has to be seeing Eddie Izzard in Berlin. (See here for more details) But that doesn’t diminish how great other parts were, like exploring Shoreditch with my best friends and my 21st birthday.

2014 was a very busy year, and it was mostly good, which I feel is the most that can be expected from a whole 365 days. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I’ll never keep them, but I do have hopes for the rest of 2015. They’re mostly fairly grown up things, like I hope I graduate, I hope I get a job, I hope I find somewhere to live. It’s all boring but important things.

So after starting this year with a fairly sedate blog post, I hope your 2014 was mostly good and that your 2015 is as well.