So that’s it, the first term of 3rd year is officially over!
There’s nothing more rewarding than success when you’ve fought extremely hard for it. A bit like my wisdom teeth right now, they are killing me slowly with their little bursts through my gums, yet I know the end is nigh and I know the buggers will not bother me once they’re through. I will get through this torture.
That’s how I’ve looked at the last 4 years of my life really.
There came a point in my life where I never ever thought I’d have the opportunity to graduate. It’s always been my aim, it’s not always been my priority however.
I came to university in 2011 with the spring in my step, I was probably a LOT more confident than I am now and I know for a fact I was a lot less strong willed.
You’re probably thinking ‘she’s a f**cking idiot.’
‘How the F does it take someone near enough 5 years to graduate with a f-ing Journalism degree’
I thought that once too.
I’ve never been stupid, a bit dim, never actually stupid. I was really ‘good’ in school (apart from Welsh lessons. Welsh is my favourite language in the world, my teacher and I just never really saw eye to eye. I wasn’t bad at Welsh, I was just bad in Welsh lessons)
College came along and I just got a bit more interested in visiting civilisation down Trostre or the beach. I never failed however, not then anyway.
Not until the struggles of a university degree and my mother’ ill health came about.
Seeing someone suffer from a stroke is one of the worst things you could ever see. It’s like the person is there dying to reach out, dying to talk, they’re dying to move their legs again like before but their mind is stopping them from doing so. Seeing my mum basically become an ornamental figurine was one of the hardest things I have been through, especially during a time where I was at my loneliest.
I’d just moved to Cardiff, the majority of my friends had themselves gone off to university, whilst the rest were all the way home in Carmarthenshire. I was on my own, in a city I didn’t know, sharing a flat with a bunch of people I didn’t know. They went out and enjoyed freshers week whilst I sat in my four walls crying my eyes out thinking I’d made the worst decision ever. I got through that, I failed academically but mentally I struck gold.
Until 2 years ago.
I was back on my path to success and the ‘big Cosmopolitan‘ job. Ya know, the ones in the movies. I always wanted ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ job. Yup. Anyhow…
I’d had my ups and downs the previous years but nothing could prepare me for what was to come.
I lost my ‘father’ that year, not the biological one, the one that had brought me up as his own. Not through death, through his very own disgusting actions. With my mother’s ill health, came big responsibilities for me and my siblings. My then 18 year old brother became my mother’s full-time carer whilst I spent my time attempting to keep up with the neverending work-load of a Journalism degree.
I felt guilty. That I was nearing my future ‘dreams’ as you could say, whilst my little brother was the one picking up the pieces at home. My mother’s ex husband claimed bankruptcy, our home was in the midst of a legal dispute and we eventually lost the only place we’d felt safe in.
In a matter of months, we lost practically everything. My mother lost her husband, me and my brother our father figure, I’d potentially lost the chance of graduating with a degree I’d always wanted and collectively we lost our very own four walls. Nothing can or will ever compare to those months of hell.
This is not a ‘FEEL SORRY FOR ME NOW’ post. If anything, it’s supposedly an insightful one? I don’t know.
I’ve always been told that success is measured by the person at hand. You don’t need a million pounds in the bank, you don’t need a medicine degree (or a Journalism one!) to be successful. If you lose your pride, that’s okay too.
Personally, my success story is the fact I fought through the hard bits, cried through the really really hard bits but I never lost hope or the end destination.
There is a reason why I’m incredibly proud of even getting through the first term of third year, and my reasoning?
Well there was a time where I never ever ever thought it would be possible. (My lecturers probably didn’t think it would be possible for me to get through the first year, let alone be where I am now)
Not only that, we are back in the same four walls we lost merely 2 years ago. It may have taken over a year but we are home and probably more stable than we’ve ever been.
And little ole Sammy? Well I am more determined than ever before.
I’d never been used to failing or being the girl with the excuses, therefore when I found myself as the ‘failure’ of the class, that picked at my confidence and gave me a reason for giving up. I very much nearly did.
So as I sit here with my mountain load of dissertation research, law revision, documentary clips, Adobe Audition edits and feature writing tips, I am probably happiest I’ve been since starting university all those years ago.
I guess it takes nearly losing something completely and losing the chance of doing what you want to do, to actually appreciate what you’ve got going for you.
I’ve got a long way to go if I want to graduate with the grade I want, a really really long way. The difference now? I’m willing to work my very hardest for it.
The moral of the story? Don’t let the lemons that people throw at you ruin your future, if anything, use those lemons to become a stronger, better and just more damn appreciative.
I was lucky, I probably won’t be given the chance next time.
SO as my Christmas present to myself? I’m going to be spending my endless hours that aren’t spent serving the drunken festive people of Neath, actually revising, researching, writing, recording, interviewing and just enjoying the fact I have so much uni work to do and a lot less personal drama to deal with.
I’m going to enjoy this student lark for what little time I have left of it.
For now anyway..