It’s official, after several years of bloody hard work I officially graduated at 3pm on the 24th July 2014 with a First Class Honours degree in English Literature.
Shaking hands with Edge Hill University’s Chancellor, Prof. Tanya Byron.
It was a hell of a lot of hard work for me to get there, and I was fortunate to have my lovely Nana and Granddad (Mary and Morgan) there, as well as a hoard of friends from both my degree and my adventures in Student Guiding to share the moment.
All the best people are Student Guides!
Whilst I was absolutely gutted that my parents were unable to attend (my Dad had surgery less than 24 hours before the ceremony and my Mum couldn’t afford the travel over here), they both got to watch the live stream that my university have going, which was great! If you want to watch it, the link is here, but skip ahead to 5h30mins:
The opening speech demonstrates one of the core reasons that I came to Edge Hill University, it wasn’t just the course and the location that sold it to me, but the history that intertwines with a fight against austerity and displayed in the green and heliotrope (purple) of our colours.
Just call me Katie Louise Frazer BA (Hons), onwards and upwards!
After three years very hard work, and a final semester of “all or nothing”, I am happy to announce that I am now the holder of a First Class Honours degree in English Literature from Edge Hill University. Which makes me very, very, very happy!
Guess who got a first?
All of this means that on the 24th July 2014 I will be graduating alongside some of the best people I have ever met, with the hope of entering the simultaneously scary and exciting world of full time work. I haven’t achieved everything that I had planned for the three years, but I think that is more a reflection on the lack of hours in a day than anything else, because I have achieved so much and have some certificates, photographs and memories to prove it!
And of course I will be back to fill you in on my graduation!
So I have been President of Edge Hill University’s Feminist Society since January 2013, and before that I was Vice President (from March 2012 when the society was founded). It is my baby, and has taken over my life in so many ways. I have fought hard against the many (oh so many) people that don’t think there is a need to exist by doing photo campaigns, educational lectures, documentary screenings and so on just to try to enact change at the university. And, drum roll please, it has just been announced that we won Best Liberation Society 2013/2014.
It means a lot. Edge Hill is quite apathetic, and I got really emotional when I attended the NUS Women’s Conference last month to be surrounded by so many self-identifying women who felt as strongly as I do about the feminist cause and movement. There are, of course, other societies working just as hard, such as the LGBT+ Society whose work is equally important, and the solidarity on issues such as Gender Neutral facilities which means that (hopefully) our new sports facilities opening in January 2015 will join the Creative Edge building on this front. I have complete faith that whoever it is that takes on the society will continue to do some really good work, particularly in this area, to put Edge Hill in a place where it can honour its founders and early graduates and everything that they worked so hard to achieve.
So I am in my final semester as an undergraduate English Literature student at Edge Hill University. And I am scared!
I’m not going to lie about how I feel about all of this, I am under immense pressure (from myself) to do well, and am at the point at which I need to decide if I am going to do an MA next year, or get a job. My approach to most things is (as ever): why not both? And I’m right, I could do both if I did them part-time. I mean, it isn’t like I haven’t had a multitude of jobs whilst studying:
Student Guide (possibly my favourite)
Team Member at Mecca Bingo – I have to say, I loved this job, but it was 20 miles away and I don’t drive and the 6 hour turnaround I had each night before uni was just not ideal.
Customer Service Advisor for UCAS – This job surprised me. I’m not a lover of phones, but working in a call centre definitely appeals to me now!
I’ve dabbled with Avon, but I couldn’t make it work around everything I wanted to do as a student, and when I became president of my university’s Feminist society roughly a year ago I decided to give it up. Before uni I was a general labourer. Which probably gives me one of the more diverse work experience lists going for a 21 year old.
So, plan’s for the semester:
Get ahead on all assignments. As much as possible.
Society events – keep them going. What is Feminism?, I need feminism because… and FGM educational (updates of each will be posted on this darling blog!)
Submit some writing, pitch some articles and hopefully get published!
Get a first. (not a lot to ask really…)
Attend MA info session and have a proper think about whether I definitely want to do it and can afford it.
Get a job from May so that I can afford rent and food etc.
Keep blogging and not neglect this beautiful website – especially the ‘What I’m reading section’, which will be updated with a ‘Countdown to Sarah Waters’ series in which I re-read the entirety of Sarah Waters’ works before her new book arrives in Autumn.
Keep making lists.
Keep on top of volunteering too: hopefully become a BeatBullying Life Mentor (I’ve applied, but requested LGBT training, so it may take a while to come through).
Polish up on French (near-fluency) and Russian.
I think that is enough for anyone to be getting on with!
Hopefully in a few weeks there will be an update indicating I have achieved something here!
This evening I found myself at the first of three carol services I will be attending before the week is out. It was held in the Studio Theatre in the Arts Centre that was refurbished and reopened just over a year ago over at Edge Hill university where I am a third year English Literature student. The five carols we sung were familiar to all: ‘In the Bleak Mid-winter’, ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ (I may have got some of these wrong – made the mistake of listening to the Songs of Praise CD in the car home and now I’m a bit confused between the two!). It was great to hear them sung passionately by various students and members of our University’s Christian Union, whilst interspersed with readings from both Luke and Matthew of the Gospels.
As well as the readings, a guest speaker – whose name (like a lot of things about this evening) evades me – came to speak not only about the true meaning of Christmas, but also the legitimacy of Jesus Christ. Something that is, of course, a very interesting topic. From him it has enabled me to continue in my own agnostic questions of the position of God, Christ and religion in my life and the 21st Century. He passed on two books that will be useful to me in my pursuit: D.J Caswell, Real Lives: Stories of Changed Lives and Toolkit: Helping you share the Gospel and publication by Young Life re:sources.
It may have been an unplanned distraction, after all I was due to come home and continue working on my brief review of Elizabeth Robins’ 1913 essay ‘Woman’s Secret’ before presenting in Victorian Poetry on Friday – but Christmas Carols and Victorians are inextricably linked – are they not?