So I had an entirely different post planned for today, and then Facebook (not so kindly) reminded me that today marks four years since I finished my multimedia journalism degree. Now I’m kinda freaking out.
I’ve been told that I was as good as written off by some people when I was primary school age. People didn’t think I’d achieve all that much, but as soon as I learned university was a thing I knew I HAD to go.
Then, when I got to the age that it was time to seriously think about these things my mum started to get nervous about me moving away, my dad started researching disabled access at unis, and some people started to tell me they thought I should stay close to home. At which point I told them, in slightly politer terms than this, that there was not a chance in hell I was staying close to home if I could help it. I was moving out, and that was that.
There was a point when I did almost go to a university 40 minutes away from where I lived, but then I fell in love with Teesside University, about an hour and a half or two hours away depending on traffic. The staff there were all really supportive, and the university employed someone to help me physically get around campus so that I didn’t get stuck anywhere and he carried my stupidly heavy bag for me. (Sorry about just how much it weighed if you’re reading this by the way!)
In the end I got a great result on my degree, but perhaps the biggest thing I achieved was a whole new level of independence and and physical fitness. I overcame my nervousness about getting the train on my own so I could go home and surprise my dad for his birthday. I learned that I could get by on a few visits from a supportive living team a week, and some help from my housemates, and I walked almost everywhere because I didn’t have a car and was too nervous to get the bus by myself.
Even on my most down and lonely days when I feel bad that I’m of where I hoped I’d be when I graduated, I could never think it was all a waste of time, even if I am pretty convinced I’ll be forever in debt.