I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to take UG and PG and vocational qualifications and I have always found them a chance to learn new languages, travel and work in new countries ( I studied Modern Languages), study and develop and enhance my research skills. My recent Masters course offered the chance to work on my own small scale research project and match literature searching to a piece of my own original research. While this was a challenge as I was also working full time, I really enjoyed having the freedom and responsibility for my own research and producing and analysing outputs. Answering the research question can be really difficult and requires tenacity, hard work, focus, clarity and preferably the skills of a detective.
The graduation with the School of Arts and Social Sciences was a really great occasion and I found it very exciting. There is a real sense of tradition with the procession, the presentations and the wearing of academic dress. I enjoyed the ceremony, sharing the occasion with our students and colleagues and lecturers and hearing some of the students’ stories. I feel that education is an opportunity to grow and be changed and some graduates have found or are discovering new jobs and new pathways in their lives. It is exciting to see graduands waiting with anticipation to take the stage for the moment they become graduates. It is also a chance to finally reflect on the course and experiences and skills gained and then look to the future and see how it can be put into practice.
Graduation is both an end and saying goodbye but also a new beginning. “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself” (John Dewey). All in all, I totally recommend both studying and also the culmination of it by attending graduation and sharing the occasion with friends, family and colleagues before starting out on the next challenge.