September is a very special month for Plymouth as a city, because this is the time the University hold their graduation every year. The beautiful view of the sea by the Hoe and the elegant marquees are simply breath-taking. Although I graduated from my undergrad degree five years ago, today, I am back to the same place with the alumni team to congratulate the graduates.
The lovely thing of being part of the graduation is that you get to see the academics, family and friends, all celebrating what they have achieved together. At times, I sense the joy, sadness, excitement or anxious feelings from the all graduates in one place. I totally get it; when you work so hard and make so many connections with others during you time at the University, how could you not feel sad? It’s like we first came with empty hands but are leaving with the most precious diamond in the world. (Just so you know this is an analogy, you don’t actually get any diamonds 🤷♂️)
I was most looking forward to the ceremony for the School of Health Professions, because that’s where I got to see the students graduating from the MSc (Pre-reg) and BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programmes. This year, I even had the privilege to celebrate three of the academics (they have all taught me in the last year) for their achievement in completing a PHD in their respective fields.
When I saw the occupational therapy students on stage, especially those studied the MSc (Pre-reg) programme, I had no idea that I would be a bit emotional. At the time, I couldn’t make any sense of it, I really couldn’t. But then suddenly it dawned on me that this exact moment will be where I am next year. In my pervious blog, I mentioned studying this masters programme is the most challenging thing that I have ever done, and I honestly had doubts whether I would be able to complete it. But seeing those who were in my position and now graduate as qualified occupational therapists with a masters degree simply made me realise one thing - I can do it as well!
I pictured myself collecting my certificate on stage, walking down the aisle with the academics forming a guard of honour to congratulate me, and taking pictures with my friends afterward. It was a very sweet moment and I couldn’t stop smiling. (Of course this was all in my head at the time, but people around me thought I was having a crazy moment when they saw me grinning almost uncontrollably 😂).
To the class of 2018, thank you very much for the wonderful memories and inspirations that you gave me. I wish you all the best and hopefully, meet some of you in practice when I qualify this time next year. To my fellow course mates, I look forward to the year ahead and creating a chapter that we will treasure forever, and together.
“A dream you dream alone in only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality” – Yoko Ono