And now, the end is near…

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The world needs a mix of individuals to make it go round. Firstly, it needs policemen and women to keep the disorderly in check. Secondly, it needs doctors and nurses to keep the population in tip top condition. Finally, it also needs students to keep the Red Bull and vodka companies in business. I will hold my hand up and say that, during my three years at university, they were both my saviour and best friend; Red Bull held my hand during times of an imminent deadline and vodka was always there for celebratory drinks afterwards.

Despite the stresses, strains and a mid-university crisis somewhere in the middle, I am saddened that my university experience has come to an end. It seems a life time ago that I was dropped off by my parents to fend for myself. Overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of Freshers’ Week, as well as the homesickness bug I was duelling with; all I wanted to do was adopt the foetal position and watch re-runs of Friends. But Lancaster very quickly became my home away from home. The University has an incredible support system which kicks in right from your very first day with the introduction to your freshers’ reps. Not only did my reps help me with the transition into my new life but they quickly became good friends. This is one of the many reasons why I have fallen in love with the University. It has also given me friends for life who I have created a multitude of memories with, some of them are a little fuzzy around the edges, but all the same great memories.

I am now filled with a cocktail of contradictory emotions. There is a sense of relief that I’ve made it to the end and that it’s now time to move on to something new whilst at the same time I’m sad to be leaving a place that has had such a big impact on my life.

But has the university experience prepared me for what’s ahead? In many ways – yes. I have matured from the Lambrini loving girl I once was to a lady whose palette now enjoys fine wines from Sainsburys’ basic collection. But all jokes aside, I have been challenged both emotionally and academically and I have enjoyed the journey with my fellow students. I was recently asked by a potential future university student whether, if I had the choice, would I do it again. My answer is a wholehearted yes. In spite of the student debt hangover that I now have to cope with, I would jump at the chance to do it all over again from the Stiff ‘Un induced comas courtesy of the Carleton, to the SCAN late-nighters to make sure that lunchtime deadline was met.

What I now love is the fact that the journey is not over, but is only just beginning. University is something that I would recommend to anyone and, more to the point, Lancaster University is place which has nurtured the greats of our time. Well, that’s what I plan to tell the world in my inauguration speech anyway…

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