As I sit here in Heathrow Airport, in the aftermath of my university graduation, I reflect upon my three years studying in St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.
Since moving from Ireland to England, I have grown into a more rounded individual. Not only because I have completed a University degree, but because I have developed multiple dimensions of the self, which have added to my personal identity.
From the onset, I was identified as the Paddy of the group. Personally, it wasn’t my cup of tea, as I felt that it was a stereotype that I did not want to live up to. However, little did I know, my nationality was a niche that could be further explored to make me stand out from the colourless crowd.
During the early days of my academic years, I wanted to become a Secondary Physical Education teacher, similar to almost every Irish student studying at Strawberry Hill. However, over time I broadened my horizon in to the primary education field.
By working with different companies such as Little Kickers, J and C Academy and working in primary schools such as Drayton Green, it reassured me that I was moving in the right professional direction. This was also aided by an endless list of individuals who have positively influenced and shaped my character as an employee and as a person.
Ultimately, with the guidance of God, family and friends, I was invited to graduate at Westminster Cathedral, Central London, where trumpets were blowing and crowds flocked in from all parts of England and the world to watch this momentous event.
I am proud to say that I studied at St. Mary’s University Twickenham and that I will always be a Simmie. However, now that another piece of my life journey jigsaw has been filled, it is time to look forward to the future and prepare myself for the next academic year. Then it will be time to start my new chapter as an Irish primary physical education teacher in London.