I will not pretend that this last year has been a bed of roses. Having been given a torrid time of it would be a much better description. A combination of outside pressures and some initial academic injustices put me in the position in questioning why I was still here. However, life is not about the battles you choose to fight, but rather it is about those battles that you have no choice other than to fight them. It goes along with the idea that nothing of true value is gained without some element of struggle.
In the build-up to the release of results, I had told anyone that would listen that a 2:1 was the likely result. A 2:1 is not a bad result by any means, but the feeling lingered that my commanding first had been let slip. I finished the semester by handing in three pieces of coursework late (previously all work was handed in on time), which reduced revision time for the two remaining exams. Finally whilst others had been pulling out equations and seeming quite complex ideas for their Individual Research Project, it was difficult to see the merit in my own work.
Given this back drop, you may be able to grasp the sense of relief followed by elation that flowed through me on reading my name under the “Recommendations for Award ‘Master of Computer Science in Engineering’ with First Class” section of paper stuck to the wall in Zepler Reception. Let us just say that I didn’t keep my feelings to myself at this point. Given the quality of the people in my year, there were some for whom the result was never really in doubt and the recommendation was merely a quiet confirmation. In some respects, that element of doubt made the whole moment so much more enjoyable. There it was finally laid bare, the simple fact that my academic career was over and not only that, but it had concluded with the best possible outcome. It wasn’t even close.
The question of my future was resolved somewhat earlier and marks another achievement: I accepted a job offer in Paris as a Software Developer after an interview over Easter. This was one aspiration that I had at the beginning of my return to the education system.
What remains to be said? Nothing more than a statement of the obvious: Mission Accomplished. Would I make the same choices that led me here again? Yes. Without doubt.