Midnight last night was the cut off time for the submission of my last essay as an undergraduate student. Although it had been electrically submitted a few days earlier, the impending end of my undergraduate years has been very emotional for me, and I confess to bouts of tears this week. I believe I am the only one out of my class who will be continuing onto postgraduate study, and I find myself annoyed at the comments of others like ‘so pleased it is over’, ‘can’t wait to get out of this place’ etc…whereas I, like the Carpenters said, have only just begun. I have had a wonderful year, academically, professionally, mentally and spiritually; to the point I feel as if I have done three years in one. I will know mid June what degree classification I will get, and it looks to be at the least a 2:1, but a first could be a possibility, depending on my dissertation mark, which I will find out in nine days. I’ve also had some further successes which Barbara Walters says ‘ Success can either make you a prima donna, or it can smooth the rough edges,take away the insecurities and allow the good things to come out’. I’m in the latter camp. I won joint third prize in a national essay competition, finding out two days after my dissertation went in. I went to London to attend a conference and pick up my certificate and £200 prize money, half of which I have donated to funding a speaker in public health for a health, to show my gratitude to my faculty. I realised, when being presented with the certificate, that the win was not only mine, but for my department and university, which made it all the more poignant. Secondly, I have been offered a summer internship with a prestigious research institute, to gain practical experience in an academic research environment, which I speculatively initiated a few weeks back. I had an interview and offer yesterday, and although it is volunteer work, the value of what I will experience cannot be expressed in financial terms. So I’m in a good place now, but I feel very emotional, most likely underpinned by the anticipation of final marks, the end of an era and the unknown, but fascinating possibilities of entering the postgraduate world, with what I feel, are endless possibilities, a chance to grow, explore, research and develop. This is what dreams are made of.

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