3 years, done. Uni, done. Degree, done.
Last week I finished my final ever university exam, meaning after 3 years I'm now a certified nutritionist. Pretty damn mega.
I'll start off by saying that I struggled quite a lot with uni. I wasn't a 'typical' uni student. I never did an all nighter, I never went to freshers week, I didn't live in halls or housing and I didn't join a society. I was quite beige really. Living at home, revising 12 hours a day for exams and being asleep by 11 was my routine. I completed uni like a job with disgusting overtime. Although it honestly felt more like prison. It was the most miserable 3 years ever I would say. I had no switch on/switch off point, I was always on. If I was near a computer, I was on and couldn't settle with having time off. I know other uni students will relate when I say the overwhelming and all-consuming stress, pressure and guilt is near crippling. If I spent one hour away from my computer not studying I felt like I was cheating myself of good results. I could never switch off for the whole 3 years. It was hideous and I didn't have a life, make time for myself or make time for others. It was lonely, monotonous and honestly dull. I struggled a lot with it as I chose the complete wrong degree. Not having a passion for your degree makes it 100x more difficult to revise for it as it isn't something that immerses your passion. Instead I was learning for the sake of learning. Sure, I can provide clinical nutritional advice, analyse blood lipid profiles and have contributed to unique PhD research but it isn't a subject I want to spend my whole life dedicated to.
The experience of my university in particular was just vile. It's difficult to get into, but the lecturers had 'favourites' and it was clearly marked that way. The leniences people were provided were ridiculous, there was no regimentation, regulation or policy in place. It was charity, sympathy and beyond unfair. Being immersed in that is enough to make anyone disengage, lose motivation and wonder why they're bothering. Which is exactly what happened to me. I worked above and beyond for my degree the entire time. Not once having an extension, alternate assessment or even help, really. Yet it was others who had excuse after excuse that got let off, sympathy marked and favourited. To me it felt as though all of my hard work was for nothing when others put in less than half the effort, had a couple of excuses yet will graduate with probably the same degree mark as I will. It would piss anyone off. Honestly it makes me sad the uni I chose and how we were all treated as it's completely ruined the whole 'university experience', and makes it certain I never want to return to education.
It's all justified as of course it is 'a degree' that I can use for numerous other things, but it makes me deeply sad that I chose a subject that won't get me to the places I want to be in life. It's done now and of course I'll try and make the most out of the qualification I have but I'm understandably miffed. I chose it when I had no idea what I wanted to do, yet now my ambitions are completely different. I'm grateful for the experience as I'm an actual nutritionist which is pretty sweet and provides me with excellent nutritional banter to use as insults, but it does make me a lil disappointed as I could have spent my time learning a subject much more personally interesting to me. I'm 100% sure I'm not the only one who feels this way following slamming a uni degree.
The relief I feel after finishing is immense, I finally feel free. It's like being let back into the real world and I'm having to retrain myself how to relax again after having 3 years of tension and stress. But I also feel apprehension, anxiety and worry as to what the future brings. Since I started I couldn't wait to be finished. I was always ready to get a job and enter the 9-5 world as I just have an urge to get on with life. Now it's here, I'm a bit 'omg' at what to do with myself. Which is good, it's a fresh challenge and I have new opportunities to prove to myself how much I can achieve.
I'm just so excited to actually be free. Nothing beats being able to spend evenings in the sunshine, having picnics in the park and cocktails instead of learning adipose tissue, phenylketonuria or sarcopenia. Summer is going to be pretty damn special this year knowing there's no return :)