After 4 years, my time at the University of Glasgow has come to an end. And I couldn’t be happier!! It wasn’t always plain sailing, but I got there in the end. I am now a graduate. I have an upper second class Master of Arts (soc sci) Honours Degree in psychology. aka, a 2:1 MA hons in psychology. 🎓
There were SO many times when I didn’t think I’d ever get to that desired end point. From taking voluntary suspension at Strathclyde from a course I hated, to having to apply and start at the beginning again on something totally new. To getting an unconditional into the Psychology course at Glasgow and being part of the class of 600 in 1st year. Second year was horrible – with everyone fighting for their place in honours. You needed an average of a B2 across both semesters to progress, and I got a B3, yet miraculously was allowed to continue with psychology, and narrowly avoided having philosophy as my major. (Which I’m sure would have been just as fun, just not where I wanted to go!) 3rd year was ok, other than having the flu and an ear infection for finals which tanked a few of my exam grades. And 4th year really was difficult, and challenged me in so many ways. I lost count of the amount of hours I spent panicking/stressing/freaking out about my maxi project (dissertation), so I was thrilled to discover the other week that somehow, I got an A4 for it!! It was a tough 4 years, and I am THRILLED to have a 2:1 honours degree.
So, what now? Well, up until a few days ago, I didn’t have the slightest clue. I’ve now come across a counselling skills course I really like the look of, so am planning to further look into that. Whether that’s what the next step is or not I’m not 100% yet, but at least I’ve got a slight bit of a plan. People keep asking me what the end goal is, and I really don’t know. Sometimes I like the idea of being a counsellor/therapist, but deep down I just don’t know if I am capable. The listening part I could manage, but I don’t know if I have the skills/manner/personality to master what else there is to it, even with training. But other than that, I have no suggestions or incline as to what I could or want to do. So we’ll see what happens I guess!
But for now, I am happy. If you’ve seen my graduation photos on Facebook or Instagram, you will be able to see just how happy I am. Someone said they didn’t know I could smile so big, and joked that they didn’t know I had teeth 😂. I don’t know if that means I’m usually miserable looking or not lol! But I’ve had several comments about how genuinely happy I look in the photos – and it’s because I really was. I was, and am, proud of myself. That’s not something that happens very often, or that I’d ever admit so freely, but I am proud. I’ve had various challenges over the past 4 years – nothing earth shattering thankfully, but different little things, academically, physically, emotionally and mentally, that have made it difficult at times – and I’m really really proud of myself for pushing through it all and getting the result I wanted. I might not be a straight A student or be at the top of the class, but I have my degree and that’s something to be proud of!
My confidence had taken quite a hit at the beginning of this year. I’m not totally sure why, but it was lower than it had been in a long while. But doing well in exams and getting my degree has helped boost it back up. The weekend the youth band spent in Birmingham and Coventry also helped that. Being part of the ‘staff’ team reminded me that I can be looked up to and respected, and giving part of the sermon on the Sunday morning was a huge step. I’ve given testimonies before, but this was more than that, and in the end I wasn’t even very nervous. I didn’t rush through it, I made lots of eye contact, and i (think) I sounded confident in what I was talking about. The response I had from a variety of different people afterwards made me feel valued and capable, and again shoved my confidence up a much needed notch. Other random things have helped too – friends being super supportive and encouraging and believing in me, hearing them say they’re proud of me too. And even small things like socialising with Matt’s work and band friends – something that often makes me anxious, but that I’ve gone and done anyway. I’ve never liked being the shy and nervous girl in the corner, and love when I sometimes manage to step outside of that.
So the main point of this ramble isn’t to boast about how amazing I am – far from it. It’s more to share where I’m at, what’s been going on, and emphasise that even when it feels like things aren’t going to plan, they’ll work themselves out. I was distraught and confused when I left Strathclyde, and while I still don’t know exactly where I’m headed now, I’ve managed to go from that confusion and upset and get a degree in something I’m interested in and care about and want to use to try and make a positive difference. Things don’t always go to your plan, but they’ll work themselves out in the end. Just keep going, change direction if need be, surround yourself with people who care and who love you, and things will be ok.