By Leanne Goodall

Looking ahead to your graduation can inspire and motivate as the workload increases

Many students will be busy preparing for exams or writing EMAs (end of module assignments) for the final part of their current module. There’s no denying that this is a tough process that requires one huge push from us all. I’m currently preparing for the A207 (From Enlightenment to Romanticism) exam and have really been hit by the workload that’s ahead of me. Last week I was feeling quite daunted but then the weekend gave me a boost, some inspiration to keep going.

Over the weekend graduation ceremonies took place at the Barbican Centre, London. I always get a little boost when I see pictures from the ceremonies but this time there was a little more to inspire me. I actually knew one person who was graduating and there were a few others that I’ve come across over the last few years (via social media) that had also, finally, got to their graduation day.

Fellow OU students

Just over a year ago now I remember doing the school run and often getting a tap on the shoulder from my friend who would ask me how it was all going. She understood because she was an OU student too. We were studying entirely different subjects but the essence of what it takes to be an OU student (as well as several other things all at once) was familiar between us. I found comfort in the fact that she was an OU student too. Last Saturday she stood proud at her graduation. She didn’t trip on stage, the gown fit her perfectly and she came back to tell me what a magical experience the whole day was. Suddenly it wasn’t just something in the distance, to strive towards. It was real.

It only takes a moment for me to imagine my own graduation day and I know it will be loaded with emotion. When I attend my graduation I know that I will be filled with pride and I am incredibly excited about doing it.

‘I did it!’

The students that I speak to on social media, as well as tweets that I found under the OU hashtag (#ou_ceremonies) were all so full of happiness, pride and emotion too. It seems to me that the graduation day is where everything comes together and everything that you have given to your studies is well and truly recognised. It really is the day when you can stand there and say ‘I did it!’.

It seems to me that the graduation day is where everything comes together and everything that you have given to your studies is well and truly recognised

So if you’re in need of a little inspiration or a pick-me-up because things are really tough (and they really do get tough at times) then read about some graduation stories. Look under the hashtag mentioned above, read the comments on the Facebook pages or even watch one of the graduation videos on YouTube. I doubt than any OU student could come away without feeling a little more hope and a bit of positivity. In fact, I suspect that most will feel overwhelmed with emotion because the graduation day symbolises something that has become so incredibly important within their own lives and the vision of their own graduation will stand for something far more than could ever be described in words.

Leanne is half way through a BA (Hons) in History with the OU and enjoys writing as a freelancer as well as on her personal blog, Growing my Knowing, where she catalogues here experiences as a student. You can catch up on all of Leanne’s excellent contributions for STOU here.

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