On Saturday we had a Valedictory Service. We are all doing BA (Hons) degrees but as they are at a Christian institution and are degrees in ministry, we get a nice church service so we can thank God for getting us through it. We were presented with our certificates to acknowledge completion of the course (although we won't know if we have passed it... yet!) by our lovely tutor Iain, who also made sure he said something personal about each and everyone of us before calling us up to the front.
|Official piece of paper number 1!|
Our proper university graduation is in London in October, so I will get my official official piece of paper then!
Yesterday we had "exit interviews" where we shared reflections from the past 3 years and spoke about our next steps. I am so fortunate in that I still have a job - my church/work paid for me to do the degree - so my immediate future is secure. However many of my coursemates are heading into the job hunting and I feel so sorry for them. After many years of it myself and the past 8 months of it with Jewhurst, I feel their pain and frustration.
Today we got to have fun! The college gave us some money towards a day out and we decided that after years of studying just around the corner from Bristol Zoo it was high time we paid it a visit. I last went to Bristol Zoo when I was in secondary school so it's been a while. I didn't really recognise any of it so it was like going again for the first time! The Zoo is situated in the middle of Clifton - a leafy but built up suburb about 3 or 4 miles from the town centre. It always amazes me that there could be a Zoo in amongst all the regency houses and public schools. The Zoo is pretty big, but sadly no longer big enough to house elephants, giraffes, or bears anymore. However there are still lions (albeit depressed looking ones), a brilliant seal and penguin enclosure, monkey jungle, aquarium and reptile houses, Bug World and lots more. There is also a "Go Ape"-style high wire rope course called "Zooropia" which we went on first. I was all cocky because I had done Go Ape before and loved it, and this looked much easier. However once I was up there and having to negotiate tightropes with nothing but my harness to hold on to I was soon brought down a peg or two! It was great fun though, parts of it over look the monkey enclosure although I was too focussed on where I was putting my feet to notice!
After a picnic lunch of EPIC proportions (a man actually walked past with his little boy and said "Goodness, look at the size of THAT picnic!") we went off to see the animals...
My other favourite was an animal I'd never even heard of before - the sand cat. It was in the "Twilight Zone" which is set to look like night-time so that we can see nocturnal animals. It was quite dark in there so I didn't see it properly but I saw enough to think it looked really cute! It didn't look like a wild cat, it was curled up asleep just like Billie does.
We finished off our day of fun by heading over to Cribbs Causeway for dinner at Preview all you can eat restaurant. Despite the disappointing lack of chicken wings (last time I was there I ate 10!) I filled my boots with all kinds of delicious things. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone, but many of us will see each other in a few weeks when lovely Jo gets married, and if not we will see each other at graduation.
It's an end of an era really. My journey through this degree started pretty much 3 years ago when I had an interview and it's been a whirlwind since. It's given me so many opportunities to gain experience, learn new skills, and grow in confidence. And it is partially to thank for me meeting Jewhurst, as I met him whilst on a 3 week work placement - a course requirement I happened to undertake in Belfast! I won't miss it, but I will miss the people I have met - students and tutors alike. Hopefully I will have opportunities to go back and visit.
For now though, I am very much looking forward to spending my evenings and weekends with my husband, family and friends. Time to reclaim my life! :)
|BCYM class of 2012 (minus Jon and Steve!)|