Yes, I graduated in October 2015, a year ago today to be exact. Yes it was cold, no none of us wore florals because lol not summer. Yes it was difficult to find an outfit - I bought 3 in total and in the end I wore a Primark woollen skirt. Thug life.
If you didn't follow my blog way back when last year before it looked anything like this (and back before it was named this) here's my Friday Favourites from the week after so you can read about it a bit more.
The realisation that I graduated a year ago means I left university 18 months ago and the realisation I probably can't call myself a 'recent graduate' is all a bit much. Like I feel like I need to change my blog bio soon because all over social media I say I blog about 'life after uni' but how long is too long....?
My blog is less student life/recent graduate and more millennial navigating themselves through their twenties now and I think all the changes I'm making at the moment is a reflection of that. I know I want a redesign soon and I think I'm going to plan it for January because new year new goals and all that.
I've written loads of posts about student life and about my opinions on university since leaving the bubble, some of which will probably show up as recommended at the bottom of this but you can find them all again on this tab.
I think one year on from graduation my university experience can be summed up as 'do I think my degree helped me get into my chosen career? No. Would I do it all again? Absolutely.'
It's a VERY expensive way to learn independence but moving 200 miles away was 100% the best thing I could have ever done. I'd recommend everyone move away for university or at least live out which I appreciate isn't the cheapest option. Student finance isn't all that great all the time but if you can manage it, do it.
Managing your own time, managing your own finances, the day to day running of a home, finding student accommodation, renting houses, dealing with landlords, dealing with deadlines, travelling, shopping, cooking, cleaning.....it all amounts to life skills you probably won't have the same experience of living at home.
I moved away from my parents, my entire family, my boyfriend who went to uni 5 hours from me and my brother who went to uni 7 hours from me. I moved to a town I didn't know to start a course I didn't really know anything about and started a life I had no idea how to live. And I bloody loved it.
It wasn't all good don't get me wrong. I got really ill the first term because I basically didn't eat anything healthy, I didn't sleep right for the first year at least, I dealt with train cancellations and hellish journeys home, miles from being rescued by Mum. I dealt with flatmates and finding new homes and bad neighbours and dramas. I stayed up till 5am doing work and having miniature breakdowns before finals. My exhibition fell off the wall the day before the opening, I fundraised HARD for a London show, I saved money, I spent money....
But now I've been out for so 366 days (hello leap year) and I only look back on the good bits, Hindsight is a glorious thing isn't it? The bad bits have suddenly made for hilarious memories and anecdotes, things we laugh about when we catch up, quotes and looks that mean nothing to anyone else.....things only the people I shared it with remember with me.
And that was the absolute best bit about graduation, watching my friends, the people I shared the past 3 years walk across that stage because I was SO proud and I wanted to do a bit of a cry. These life long friends, these people who lived in the little bubble with me, the people I used to see every day who're now dotted all around the UK. The people who I still catch up with every few months, who make the effort to stay in touch, who when I see them it's like we've never been apart. Those guys.
A year on from graduation I'd do it all over again (even the dreaded walk over the stage) but I probs need to stop calling myself a recent graduate now.