If you told me four years ago that I was going to make it to graduation, I probably would have laughed and said 'we'll see'. If you told me two years ago that I wasn't going to go through with dropping out and that I would be happy in my final year, I would have looked at you like you flew in on a Mickey Mouse shaped UFO straight out of a tree made out of purple marshmallow.
University shaped me as a person, made me realise what I stood for, what I wanted, who I enjoyed to associate with, and also taught me a lot about not putting up with bullshit from others.

Going to university opened up a place inside of me that was hidden for a long time. I used to do things to please others, give in to social pressures, hang out with certain people in fear of missing out or being pushed to one side as an outcast. I used to be vulnerable to being taken advantage of emotionally and had a huge wall up to most people in order to keep everybody at some form of distance.

It taught me that social pressures needn't be caved into, and if somebody disagrees with my decision, they were never worth it. It taught me that people have aspirations, goals, achievements and a love of life that I hadn't been exposed to before. It taught me that things happen if you work your butt off. It taught me that finding your own feet in the world is the scariest but most exciting thing in life.

It taught me that friendship is the most important thing in the world. We don't get to choose our families, we don't get to say who we can and can't share blood with. But friends? Friends are the family that we choose. I haven't stayed friends with everybody that I have met in my four years - to have that many friends wouldn't make them friends at all, more or less just a lot of acquaintances - But a fair few have stuck. And a few are my soulmates.

Friends at university become your 'uni family', your support network, your saviors at times, and the people that become to know you the best. You can laugh with them, cry with them, sit in silence with them, party with them, and if needed, not even talk to them for a few hours. It's an unsaid promise, through thick and thin, you will be there at the end of anything,

I lived with four sets of housemates, no year was the same, no year was my house filled with the same people as the previous year. The people that I have met along the way will always be there, always be around to share memories with, always be there to reunite with and giggle on good times.

Then there's some people that become sisters.
The people that you think about every single day, the people that you share equal love between each other, and the people that pretty much become your limbs. They make a degree seem of less importance, because they were your greatest achievement in your university life.

I was never going to go to university, I was never even going to consider it.
Seeing my families faces when I stepped outside in my graduation cap and gown, standing by my best friends who were celebrating a success that we all equally understood, and finally being able to accept that the day was made to celebrate what we had worked three/four years towards, made going to university feel like the best decision that I have made so far in my life.

If I could do an oscar award winner speech right now, you bet'chya I would. But nope, I'm not going to. I'm just going to write it here in bold:
Thank you to every single person that held my hand when I needed it, told me off when I nearly gave up with everything, spent movie nights with me when I was at my saddest, and had fun with me when I was at my happiest. Thank you to every single person that kicked my ass when I was convinced that I didn't need university in my life, because I truly did. 

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