I flew to York for my graduation on 13 November 2013. As the ceremony started and the drums rolled, I felt a sense of overwhelming emotions.
I am grateful to all the people who have helped me along the way. So many late nights and sacrifices. It was not easy holding onto a full-time job while managing a MA at the same time. I probably would not have made it if my company had not given me time off and colleagues helped covered lots of my duties in the evening.
Though I started off aiming for distinction, eventually all I wanted was non-extinction. I experienced different emotions throughout the process. At times, I was confident my research would make a difference, while at others, I was overtaken by fear and trepidation. After the initial feedback from the supervisor, I realised my research weaknesses. With time ticking away, the deadline drawing closer and a full work schedule to deal with, I had to make up for lost time to rescue the research paper. There were times when I felt like giving up.
This journey has transformed three key areas in my life: compassion, honesty and mindfulness. I had to be compassionate to myself throughout the process. Instead of being critical and harsh with myself when I was inflicted with ‘writer’s block’, I had to find the courage to move forward. Instead of believing I am impartial, I had to be honest; I am partial, which most likely affected the ways I interacted with others and chose to solve personal or professional challenges. Finally, while I may not see how the dots connect this research into my future, I have to be mindful of my choices and trust that I am making the right decision and doing the right thing.
And for my friend who are going on this journey, I wish you all the best. This is a personal journey and only you can experience how it can transform you on various levels.