Tuesday, 26 July 2016

The Final Hurdle: Graduating

Yesterday a number of students from the Arts, Design and Media faculty were heading into the ICC Symphony Hall in Birmingham for the official ending of their time at university as an undergraduate. As we now become members of the Birmingham City University alumni I reflect on my time at spent, lessons learnt and on what has to be the proudest day of my life so far.
We were the first of eight ceremonies which will be taking place this week. It was an honour to be in a room filled with other talented creative students and their families/friends bursting with pride as their name was announced. After a restless night concerned about the dreaded walk across the stage and early start to arrive in plenty of time I think I managed the day rather well on pure adrenaline. I always get asked these three questions by people that haven't opted to go to university, so I thought now I've finished this would be the perfect time to answer them.

Was it worth it? 
As as young girl I hadn't dreamed of this day as it was never something I saw on the cards for me but that is what makes this even more special for me. It shows me you capable of more than you think, that you have the ability to change your destiny and that you truly do get back what you put in. It was worth the meltdowns, late nights, the parties, the hangovers the next day, the stress, the whole lot. My three years at uni have been some of my best and worst moments on my journey so far but I wouldn't change a thing.

If you had the choice would you go back and do it again? 
Gillian Wearing, an artist from Birmingham also receiving a Dr award from the university said something I think answers this better than I could myself. She discussed how she hated school but soon discovered education can be fantastic when you can relate to the subject matter. This basically sums up my time in education too! I never found my place in school but in university I thrived because I was solely focusing on what I loved and what I happened to do well in. Another great term she used was 'exploring your vision' which I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do without this experience, so yes I would do it again.  
What have you taken away from it all?
It takes dedication, self motivation and personal commitment to graduate from university. Not only do you have to love what you do but you have to want to do it. Our vice chancellor in his speech described us as creative problem solvers, able to bring imagination and flare to the challenges of our own professions, we are enterprising whether it's setting up our own business' or working for others and finally we are professional and practical ready to step out from university in to the world of work. One things I loved most about Birmingham is the fact there is such a multi-cultural presence. I wasn't only learning about my degree which is the obvious take a way but also life skills in people and their lifestyle choices.

What I Wore:
Dress | Miss Selfridge
Bag | Michael Kors
Shoes | Sophia Webster

At this point in time although it is the end of a once in the lifetime experience I can't help but feel excited. As they say when one door closes another one opens and that door is to the rest of our lives. Our universities motto is "do what you are doing" and I want to take this opportunity to anyone else reading this from the class of 2016 to wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours and to remind you WE DID IT!


  1. I love this, so cute Aine! And that dress and shoes, amazing girl! xx

    1. Thanks Olivia! I did my best, so hard to look nice in a cap and gown haha x

  2. Congratulations Aine!! Definitely agree with the education quote, once you find your passion, you thrive!! By the way those shoes are incredible!! Wouldn't mind a pair of Sophia Webster's myself! x

    1. Thanks lovely! So true isn't it, when she said it I was like I need to include that.

      Aren't they?! My parents did great on the graduation present x


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