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Tuesday, June 13

The Final Straight

This is it. The last few hours of my girlfriend's degree. She has a hand-in tomorrow and then it's just waiting for the results left, and there's nothing we can do about the results after the last hand-in, so there's no pressure.

It feels a lot like life has been on hold for the last few months, which I think is very normal for someone taking a degree. Had I written this blog back when I was at university, perhaps I would have some written record of how I felt in 1995 when my degree was coming to an end. I remember diverting from it a lot - I applied for a Sabbatical post in December 1994, didn't get it, so applied for a different Sabbatical post in Feb 1995, which I did get. When I say I applied for the post, both were elected position. The first was the UJS Education Officer role, a post which would have put me in London for a year. The second was the Newcastle University Student Union Sabbatical Secretary role, which involved much more canvassing and which I won. I don't know exactly how I won it, but I'm not going to worry about that now.

In some ways, the sabbatical roles shaped my life the most. I also stood for another UJS role in December 1995 (Chair) and didn't get that. Not getting that role had a similarly significant effect on my life. Staying in Newcastle hadn't been the plan after university, but the Sabbatical Secretary role, and the relationship it introduced me to, which was not threatened by the UJS chairship, was what it took to put me in Newcastle for a further 10 years.

I have no regrets about staying in Newcastle. I have plenty of regrets about the mortgage I'm presently paying on my house there. The rate just went to over 7%. For what I'm paying on this mortgage, I'll be able to remortgage for a much higher amount, the wheels of which are presently in motion.

But I digress.

So, in 1995, my degree was coming to an end. In February of that month there were the first set of final year exams, and then the madness started. Somehow in that time, I managed to win a competition as a stand-up comedian (albeit in a very limited sense) and also arrange a comedy gig, and be in a band (all in the space of about a month). By the time April came round and I'd missed more of the degree than perhaps I should have, it was really too late to do much to avert the disaster that was my results.

I got a third class degree. Had I handed in a bit of coursework which I meant to but couldn't be bothered to, it would have become a 2:2. It was that close.

I now work as a senior software developer in the field of my degree. I've done a lot of growing up since then and I'd like to think that I'm quite good at what I do. Back in June 1995, I was sick to death of computers and never wanted to work with one again. It was like waking up every day and finding it to be Friday, but the weekend never actually started. Tiresome.

So, as of Wednesday, it's all over for my other half. Hopefully, the next few months will see her shake off the stresses of the last few, will see me lose some more weight, and will see a damned good start to a fun summer.

Having worked hard all year without so much as a half day off (excepting public bank holidays) I could really use a break.


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