Life After Graduation | Ana - Heythrop College, University of London

By Issy Goode - 19:15

My next graduate is a beautiful soul named Ana. I went to school with Ana but we grew apart over many years and different directions in life. During English lessons she used to write poetry on my arms and her words are still as beautiful now. The thing I love most about doing these interviews is getting to know people who I've grown apart from all over again, and this is a lovely read.

Ana studied Philosophy and Theology at Heythrop College in London and graduated last year. 

It's like being a bird who has been in a large cage its whole life and then being set free. That's what graduating felt like to me, simultaneously terrifying and exciting. Thus like a bird that hadn't been able to fully extend its wings and fly - before its just been a real mix of flying and falling.

I loved university. I had a ball! I studied at Heythrop College, a small specialist college that's part of the University of London. I met the most fantastic and interesting people and made the very best of friends. My studies opened my mind and challenged me to question who I was and who I wanted to be. Words cannot do justice to just how much fun I had. Would I do it all over again? In a heart beat. 

I went directly onto a graduate placement with International Citizen Service and moved half way across the world to Malawi, the world's second poorest country, to be a part of a cultural and skills exchange. It was nothing like I had imagined, but somebody very wise told me on a particularly tough and really rather lonely day in Malawi, that your experiences aren't always what you want but they are certainly what you need. He was right. 

When I came home, from what I now remember as three life shaping months, I had clear direction, passion and I knew what I was capable of. My host family, my team and Malawi will always hold part of my heart. 

I want to be a teacher. something I vividly remember swearing I would never want. When I was 16 I got a tattoo and my college tutor told me I would never be able to be a teacher with such an mark on my arm, I believe I almost laughed in his face - assuring him that that wouldn't be a problem because there was no way I was going to end up like him. 

How wrong was I? I now believe being a teacher is the best possible path for me and the way I can best impact the world and...heaven forbid, try and make it a better place. I know I'm niave but I'm okay with that. 

I am passionate about education for all and using creativity in the classroom. I intend to teach, research and write so that every child gets the best possible start, whether they're dyslexic, dysfunctional or difficult - they're the kids I love most and they're the ones that all too often get left behind. 

I've spent the past few months shadowing in schools, working as a waitress and trying to learn to surf because I, like so many graduates, moved home to Cornwall. It's very weird moving back home but I have been extremely lucky to have had a really great experience of it. My boyfriend came too (a huge sacrifice on his part and one I am eternally greatful for), and was horribly suprised when he realised it really does rain every day in Cornwall during the winter. On the most grey days I struggled and wondered how I had ended up back in Kernow. As my time at home comes to a close I am so happy I had the opportunity to come home and to draw closer to my family who I had neglected during the whirlwind of university, most especially my mum (you really are so great).

Right now feels like a new beginning. I start my PGCE in September, I'm moving to Oxford in the next couple of months and I'm currently sat in the foothills of the Himalayas half way through a tour of India and Nepal with my amazing boyfriend.

It's almost a year to the day since my final exam and its taken that whole year for me to feel settled. So if you're about to graduate and you're scared and excited - that'a great news because you're about to start real life - and it's a whole load of fun.

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  1. Throughout my own recent PGDE and Probationary Year (Scottish equivalent to the teacher's cert and NQT year) I thought 'Ana would be amazing at this'. Funny and lovely that life is turning that way. :) A well written piece. Well done Ana x

    1. Thank you for stopping by and having a read Hayley, I'll make sure Ana receives your comment :) x

  2. Thanks for the share, my daughter is actually looking for astudent housing in Madrid so hope they will work hard..

    1. My pleasure, glad you enjoyed reading Ana's piece. Good luck to your daughter with finding accommodation!


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