🎓 Finished my degree last year April had my “graduation” (I’ll explain later why I’ve inverted comma’d this) in Aug/September 2016 but here I am making my post now. I guess it was obligatory. I was debating whether I should make this post or not and I guess it’s being done. Graduation done and dusted! It’s so funny I imagined my graduation to be one way but how wrong I was. I imagined going into the degree I wanted, getting it done on time, attending my graduation ceremony with all my closest family and friends, making a happy chappy post on social media & getting a job at a clinic doing what I wanted. But how damn wrong was I.
Ahh there’s so much I want to say about this. Graduating is a huge part of so many people’s lives and don’t get me wrong it is and was a huge part of my life too. I went through so much during my days of Uni it’s not even funny. I remembered doing a degree and realising it wasn’t right for me. On top of that I was going through a huge shift in my life in terms of my friends circle. Shit happened and I was losing friends I thought were like 2nd family to me. People I really invested my time and energy in throughout my highschool years and I thought I was blessed enough to go to the same University with. It got to a point where I didn’t even want to be on campus because I didn’t want to see them. Going to Uni with people you considered were your closest mates suddenly transformed from the biggest blessing to the biggest nightmare. I was weak and vulnerable and I haaaated facing my problems. My results started dropping, I was trying so hard to focus but I couldn’t. If I was even 2 minutes late to class I would avoid going in and just use it as an excuse to skip it. I started missing classes, missing exams and I just found myself in an extremely dark place. I started to suffer from anxiety. There was this huge PAIN in my chest that would never go away. No matter what I did it was ALWAYS there. I started doubting myself. I lost all confidence in who I was. I’m grateful to the select few mates (they know who they are) for sticking by me and truly having my back.
Being the typical brown kid that I am, I made sure my parents had no idea what was going on. I didn’t want to burden them with my issues so I was pretty much leading a double life. Eventually I couldn’t take it and I left my degree and Uni & my friends and parents had no clue. I was too scared to see a professional because I was in denial about what I was suffering. My friend, parents etc would ask me how uni is going and I would meekly reply “great!” and change the topic faster than a cheetah going for the kill.
Seeing any study related posts or being part of any conversation about uni/exams/assignments would just trigger my anxiety. Whilst I was going through this whirldwind of a phase of my life I got a role in events/marketing through a mate’s recommendation. I had never in my wildest dreams considered going into Marketing. I hated commerce and economics in school. Weirdly enough I fit into the role SO well. I was so good at what I did and everything was second nature to me. I started to reconsider my options about my degree and what I wanted to do. 1 month into not being at uni my parents found out I left. I wanted to tell them but like I said I HATED facing my problems. Eventually my parents found out and there was a bloody suren pore in my house (for the non Hindus let’s just say World War 3).
My parents were devastated I left my degree and Uni and it was so hard for me to explain why I had done what I did. I explained to them I’ve actively made the decision to enrol into a degree in Marketing. My dad’s first question was, “how would we know you’re not going to want to change your degree AGAIN -.-“ eventually they came around. I took matters into my own hands. Started my new degree at a different university, much closer to home and away from an environment that was too toxic for me. It was a fresh start. I appreciated my degree and my education SO much more because I knew what it was like to NOT be studying whilst the rest of the world was. My life started to take a massive change. And for the better. I was doing a degree I genuinely enjoyed, I was working in a role relevant to what I was studying. I had friends who genuinely loved me for me. I met a shitload of new people and made new friends. Reconnected with old mates I lost touch with. I started to spend more time with my family, especially my brother. I started my Youtube channel. My videos were travelling the world and I had people from different corners of the globe reaching out to me, telling me I was ‘inspiring,’ ‘funny,’ ‘ relatable’ and so forth. I came out of my uni as a graduate with already 5+ years of experience in business/marketing under my belt.
Given this whole tornado of a uni life I had I was really looking forward to my graduation ceremony & as was my family and friends. I paid for my graduation, bought my dress, nice pair of heels, had my photographer booked. Whatsapp group made inviting all my closest friends and family who were there for me. Unfortunately, life happened. My Uncle in Sri Lanka passed away and his funeral was on the same day as my ceremony. My dad begged me to stay and attend the ceremony but I made the decision to not. My graduation ceremony suddenly didn’t seem like the big deal that I imagined it to be over the years of my life. That graduation certificate should not validate me. That ceremony should not validate me. That picture perfect graduation photo should not validate me. My cousins just lost their father. My mum just lost her brother. What was important was that I was there for my family by their side. It’s being there with your loved ones. That’s the kind of shit that matters. ❤❤
Eventually I got my graduation certificate via mail (something I never fathomed would happen to me). I ended up having a graduation photo-shoot for the sake of my parents as they craved to have a photo with me in my graduation attire. Anyways the whole point of this post is I just wanted to share my experience and what I learnt from this whole process of university and graduations. Pick your friends wisely, make sure you have a REALLY good support network, have regular conversations with your parents about uni/stress and how you’re feeling about your degree. Even if they get angry or yell, they mean well. It’s just a matter of making them understand. If you want to change your degree JUST DO it. If any of you are going through crap and need someone to talk to honestly just message me on insta (@thelifeofasocialbutterfly) or alternatively, email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m always happy to help!
Grad done ✔️🎓
Onto bigger and better goals
Photo credits to my amazing photographer friend: Don Rajadurai
Check out his phenomenal work at: http://www.donrajadurai.com/