The end of the second year.
University has come to the end of another stage and akin to this time last year, results trickle in from the various modules all to be confirmed by next month. This year has been a journey of great cost and while one might argue that developments both socially and on the career path are all the more better, they have not come without a heavy price, one of emotional breakdown, betrayal and loss of so-called friends, and the substantial greying of my hair.
I moved in to my new flat this year with no particular goals other than pursuing my degree and enjoying the university radio. This flat quickly became my solace – a little fortress of my own atop a hill, a little too far from university for people to venture socially. While I have enjoyed the open space, the peace and quiet and the lack of other people to wrestle over kitchen and bathroom, it has been lonely. I have relied heavily on my course-mates and those from the radio, where some would rather a more professional relationship existed. What became something of a first-aid plaster, was the regular and I would say very lucky occurrence of a number of dates and weekend romances. These certainly kept my hopes up, and built confidence in my hard work at the gym and keeping a healthy diet. I will miss this flat, its high ceilings of plaster works, laminate floors and quirky little misgivings that have made it a home. I have 2 viewings in the works, with 1 since passed, so with any luck this will be a painless transition into the next chapter of this 4-year pursuit of changing my life.
University was a harsh mistress this year. An initial term that saw in my first total-loss on an in-class test, with no recompense and no 2nd chances (strategically I should have failed the module entirely and used that as a method to up my overall mark). I must take the time over the next 18 months to revise and review particulars of my course- for without them, I am doomed to fail that with is most important – the final year project – the IT equivalent of a dissertation. That said, other modules have backed up my overall marks to a point where, pending 1 more result due to be released any day now, I should again push through with an upper-second grade. Exams this year? Interesting. Where the previous year had me on sleeping aid medication, high stress levels and a distinctly tunnel vision like focus, this year I went in relaxed, cautiously confident and able to answer what I could. While the results have been solid passes, they too have been surprisingly mixed from initial predictions. My next blog post will no doubt reflect the overall outcome.
Working for the University this year – a positive and fulfilling role, initially, of assisting the lower-year of my degree with problems they faced and addressing challenges we too had faced the previous year, turned into a nightmare that still persists presently. After a build-up of complaints against a lecturer form the lower years lead to heated discussions and eventually a falling out between myself and said lecturer (who also as it happened, coordinated with peer-assisted learning scheme), I found myself being unfairly suspended from this job which I had poured many hours into preparing and running. I say unfairly, as within half an hour of this argument taking place, I received an email informing of said suspension – until further notice, without so much as a query into my side of the incident or the events that triggered it. In light of this, as with the naming and shaming during the election campaign earlier this year, I fought fire with fire. If this lecturer could so easily abuse her position and have me unjustly pulled from employment, then I would be more than happy to initiate a torrent of bureaucratic paperwork and meetings for her and her colleagues. So began what has now amounted to almost 100 emails, half a dozen statements being made by several affected students, and countless meetings either between myself and senior staff, or between the staff and the lecturer. Hours that are now totalling triple figures have been burned on this incident. All involved have realised I am not some low-life apathetic student who will shrug it off and have a tantrum for 5 minutes. I will fight to the last iota of strength until a just and final outcome is realised. I would like to think that a level of disappointment has been set into the minds of this lecturer’s colleagues; they have all had to undertake a number of hours outside of their already busy schedules to rectify this incident. A final meeting has been set for next week, where full closure for this ordeal should occur.
The radio was overall a great success this year and while my posts of the past have reflected this, I haven’t commented nearly as much as I should on those who will take on the gauntlet of running the show while I’m on placement. They are motivated, full of fresh ideas and have strong contacts to areas that are needed for another successful year. I especially respect the new Assistant Station Manager who takes n the role from me – an exceptionally smart and able gentleman who I wish I had met earlier on in my university life, has quickly become a close friend and one I have since confided in for assistance and a few trips out of the city simply to get away from the concrete jungle. I have ensured all, especially him, that I am happy to help out where I can and will return next year to assist in the continued success of a rapidly developing and more popular university radio station. I wish them every success.
So finally to my future – in the next month I will be moving out of one city into a little known picturesque town on the western side of the capital, where a very well-known IT company holds what I hope to be my next big rung in the IT career ladder. With this of course comes the logistics of moving worldly possessions and life from one side of the country to the other, leaving all manner of close friends and familiar faces behind, to an almost completely unknown neighbourhood. This is a chance I will rarely ever have – to sit within an IT company that has no boundaries, one that is on a constant and rapid path of growth and prosperity, one which should I grasp this opportunity an make it successful, will allow me to achieve even greater things down the road. I don’t mean to say that by doing this my path in life is laid out for me, but I will say that this opens many more doors than I could have ever hoped for 3 years ago, before “University” even became a fleeting thought in my mind.
I will miss so many people in the next few weeks, I wish I could have said good-bye to many more of them who have now sadly gone away, or completed their degrees. I will return to university in 2015, no doubt to a very different populace and many new faces. Comfort zones are nice of course, but we all must fly the nests we make in order to live life; no matter the outcome, it’s all experience, and I am so happy to have experienced what I have with so many people this year, for good or bad, lessons are always there to take on for the next act, the next chapter.
“It is a big and beautiful world. Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.”
– Oberyn Martell, The Laws of Gods and Men, Game of Thrones.