Forever a small fish in a big pond

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Not what I had in mind

And just like that.... 3 years done. 

A journey that felt like it was over in a blink… but also one I feel I have traveled for a lifetime. My BAhons degree in Youth and Community Work, complete.

It’s fair to say the finishing of this journey, represents how the whole road has been…. “Not what I had in mind.

I never thought for one moment I would be graduating in the mist of a pandemic with the only moments of celebration with friends, shared through a phone screen.

I never imagined my last semester would take place with my kitchen as my classroom.
I never thought when I left for a lunch break, I'd return to find my university closed. 

I never thought the things I'd dreamed of, the perfect ending every student pictures... the moments of glory... the gown.... the tassel... I never thought in one moment, all of that could be taken away. (Momentarily at least)

17 weeks ago... I wondered if I was strong enough, Strong enough to do, what graduating in the midst of a pandemic would require me to do. This wasn't what I had in mind. I was scared and anxious as to how I was going to get through. This wasn't what was supposed to happen... This wasn't the outcome I had prepared for... and I wasn't sure if it was one I was strong enough for. The journey was far from easy, and I say that because sometimes we are given the impression that it will be... sometimes when all we see is those moments of glory and celebrations, we are hidden from the reality of the sacrifice and determination that took place- we are misled to think that others find it so easy, only because we are in fact protected from their struggles. 

If graduating in a pandemic taught me anything, it's that. Nothing is easy. Not if it's really worth having anyway!... but also, if you want it that much, that you don't need it to be. All you need is hard work, and the feeling of knowing that even when something isn't what you had in mind, still you are going to finish what you started. What you deserve. 

So I may not have got the university experience that the teenager me once fantasised, but I did however gain an experience that taught me- that if I can finish a degree that seen me through 25 hospital visits, 12 infections, 10 needles, 9 medical scans, 8 injuries, 6 new medical diagnosis’s, 5 job roles, 3 work placements, 2 homes, finishing with 1 dissertation in the midst of a world pandemic... then I can just about do anything. 

Even the things- I never had in mind.



  1. Congratulations on being a finalist for The UK Youth Inspiring Hope Young Creative Award - Well deserved by the looks of it

  2. Well done Dan on being nominated! USW youth work team are very proud of you and we were lucky that you chose us for your studies! Best of luck in have always been a winner to us!


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