Last month I attended my graduation ceremony with my family, it was a lovely day. With Sussex being Sussex, there was of course the characteristic left-leaning diatribe against capitalism and ‘the establishment’ from a journalist receiving an honorary degree. Despite being a little irked if not surprised that such an event was being politicised, I was informed by one attendant academic that said speech was tame by comparison to those of previous years. Similarly, the journalist in question was the distinguished Yvonne Roberts, and she has helped me a lot personally in her position as the ‘Writer in Residence’ in the Politics department at Sussex. She has her right to her own opinions, and to verbalise them where she sees fit. As I know from experience, they didn’t colour her treatment of me.
One particular highlight of the day was the much-needed renewal of family photos. There I was, being held aloft in a cradle position by my 25-year-old brother, in an effort to ape a similar pose we did when I was four and he seven. I think we just about managed it, though the vein on Tom’s forehead did look fit to burst.
I want to place on record here my undying graduation and appreciation for the lecturers who have taught me personally. Nearly all have been fantastic, and special mention goes to Professor Aleks Szczerbiak, who has become a good friend, Professor Paul Taggart, who has always given great advice, and Dr Hestor Barron, a helpful, diligent and kind tutor.
The day also reminded me of the fact that my undergraduate life really is a closed book now, it is the start of a new chapter, the so-called ‘real world’, and job hunting. An MA may beckon, and so too may a short course in journalism; but overall, I want to pursue my desire to write and make enough money to survive by doing so. Check back here to see whether or not I succeed.