Today all of my course mates and their families are attending their graduation; my graduation. I am not. This is the reason why.
This year is the most important year of my life so far. I have applied for and been accepted onto my dream job; teaching in Japan. I have been writing and exciting about this opportunity for around 2 years now, basically ever since I realised that is was a possibility for me.
There is one thing that has allowed me to take part in this incredible opportunity; my degree.
In 2008, as a young and stupid teenager, I left Cardiff behind for Warwick University, where I made friends that will last a lifetime, developed language skills that would push me towards my dreams of long term travel and spent an amazing year abroad living in Germany, exploring previously unseen parts of Europe and Australia.
This year not only am I moving half way across the world, but I have also sat that last exam, sweated over that last essay, and wracked my brains over that last bit of revision, and I am ecstatic to announce that I have graduated from University with a degree in German Studies.
I, however, will never wear that mortarboard, I will never walk across that stage to collect my certificate while being watched by admiring parents and I will never be a part of the graduation class photograph that everyone and their mothers cherish so greatly and will therefore eventually be erased from my class’ memory.
And why am I giving away this most valued aspect and event in many people’s lives? Well it’s the same reason I do almost everything.
Today is my graduation day, but instead of tentatively putting on my graduation robe, learning how to walk in heels again and choosing that perfect graduation dress, I am sweating in the 40 degree heat of a monsoon, wearing the most lightweight practical clothes I can find in order to help to improve teaching methods in a rural community an hour outside of New Delhi.
And graduation? Well that’s just something I wouldn’t give up the world for.