Graduation 2021, Legendary Life Lessons and Epic Realisations

G’day friends and welcome to another blog!!

It has been such a crazy two weeks here, and it is finally starting to slow down! It is Father’s Day here in Australia, and so that means a lot of family time and pretty good food!

If you follow me on my socials, you would have seen that a little something happened 2 weeks ago. I finally graduated from Uni! Well, my Undergraduate degree in Law anyway. Because yes I am crazy and am doing my Honours year!

Graduation was an absolute surreal experience, and I can’t believe that after 4 and a half years I had my moment to roll across the stage.

So I thought I would share with you my Uni experiences and more so a little realisation I had right before I received my diploma on graduation day!

Uni- The first and last day

stage is all set for Graduation! orange and blue curtains either side of the stage. chairs are set for all the dignitaries.
patiently waiting for the ceremony to start!

My first day of Uni was crazy! I remember turning up to my class as a 17 year old naive girl who still was under the assumption that drafts for essays were still a go. It terrified me that drafts were not allowed and I had to find my own way. I left that class and was on the phone to my mother in tears saying I wasn’t capable of doing it.  

At that stage, the disabled bathroom wasn’t super accessible as the door was super heavy and not automatic. So safe to say I had to literally use my scooter as a battering ram to push the doors open! Although it was super fun to do, thankfully that was all changed with a automatic door open system being installed by the last semester of the school year.

My first year I struggled with momentum to study, and finding my way in the adult world. I failed a subject in my second semester. I had never failed a subject in all my school years. My self-confidence  was pretty low; I was unemployed, unhealthy and viewed academia as the only thing I excelled at. So to fail was almost world ending. After I got that result, I told my parents to put my sneakers on because I was going for a walk. I had to clear my head and let out some frustration.

What the fail did for me was amazing though! I reinvented my studying, started networking with amazing students who were obtaining better grades than I was. All of a sudden I started to see the rewards after a lot of hard work and finished my degree just under a 5.0 GPA (B average). What cost me was my first year but I am glad it happened to really wake this gal up!

My last days of my degree was spent at home due to the world issues going on still. I finished my degree in the middle of a world crisis and dealing with all that came with it. Which I think that alone is pretty awesome.

Safe to say I leave with my degree healthier mentally and physically and with good friends. And not to mention a confident 22 year old ready to take on life… well in a way at least!

Graduation Day: My Realisation

even though I was in my scooter, I had to get a picture like this. It symbolises so much of my life story!

So graduation. It felt like it took forever to graduate! So many false starts, uncertainty over whether it was going to go ahead given case numbers 2 hours away. However, yours truly got to cross that stage in cap and gown!

You may be wondering where my realisation came in and what it was.. hear me out..

My plan was always going to walk across the stage. I guess it was part because it is the ‘norm’ to cross the stage on your feet, and I still was feeling the need to blend in.. even though I walk like a penguin, and the gown really would have made that apparent!! ANYWAY. I guess it was a subconscious thing to feel the need to walk since nearly everyone walks.

As I was sitting in my scooter in the disabled seating section waiting for the ceremony to start, I looked at the ramp and it dawned on me I would have to walk up a ramp without a rail, walk down the other side and then walk up and around the back of the crowd… yeah nah. I had visions of me walking on the stage, faceplanting and flashing the Chancellor… I decided I would spare myself any embarrassment, and the Chancellor years of counselling, and cross the stage in my scooter.

That decision suddenly made me relax, and then nearly made me cry. I realised me feeling the need to walk was part because of fitting in, but also me not fully accepting where I was at in my disability.

Deciding to stay in my scooter, was the start of my acceptance. Acceptance that I am not only a Disabled person. But a Disabled woman who has reached University Graduation with a Law Degree in hand against all odds. Doctors didn’t think I would make it to Uni Graduation. Some people in society don’t think disabled people can amount to much..

But I crossed that stage with my head held high, happy with where I was at in my life and a smile so big you could see it from Pluto! My cheeks are still recovering.

In that moment, I accepted that my condition fully. I accepted it may not stay the same forever. But it is ok. It is ok to stay in your scooter. It is ok to prioritise your health and safety over anything. Your body, is unique to you. No two people are the same. It was about time I embraced my uniqueness. It has got me places I couldn’t have dreamed of. It is time you embrace you. Who knows where it will lead you! Whatever you do, if you cross that stage in your scooter you better own it and work that stage like no one’s business!

Check out my other school related blog posts! You will be sure to get a laugh!

2 thoughts on “Graduation 2021, Legendary Life Lessons and Epic Realisations”

  1. Pingback: 2021: the year that was full of adventure - Living Abled

  2. Pingback: Uni survival guide: dealing with Uni while disabled - Living Abled

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