On Tuesday, I graduated from Durham University with a 2:1 degree in Law and my three years of studying finally came to an end. It's so strange to think that I have actually graduated with an excellent degree no less, when it feels like just yesterday that I walked into my lectures for the first time, dismissing thoughts of a dissertation as a lifetime away. It's no lie that time goes faster as you get older and I simply cannot believe that after three years of bloody hard work I've come away with the thing that it was all for - the Law degree. I'm incredibly proud of myself and I think with good reason but it made me think about people's reactions to you actually being proud of yourself and made me think that sometimes, you've just gotta be your own cheerleader.
I think too much of the time, people are frightened to be genuinely proud of themselves because in this society, no matter what we do, we're criticised. Say you think you'll fail? You're attention seeking. Say you think you've done great? You're blowing your own trumpet. I got a 2:1 in a Law degree from one of the best universities in the country all whilst working three part-time jobs (simultaneously in my third year!) and running my own business with my blog. You're damn right I'm blowing my own trumpet and I'm blowing it loud. I've worked my lil booty off for three years, sometimes not having an actual day off for weeks at a time. I've gained 20,000 followers on Instagram, worked with some amazing brands, worked at least 20-30 hours per week at my jobs and managed to come out with an excellent degree and you know who did that? Me, myself and I and no one else so of course I'm going to be proud of it. There is a difference between "showing off" as too many people shout too often and being proud of your achievements. Showing off would be thinking that you're better than everyone else which I know the vast majority of people absolutely do not think. Showing off is uploading a photo of your tax returns form to Facebook so that people know how rich you are or showing off is uploading the price of all of your Christmas presents so people know exactly how much better your Christmas presents are than theirs. Being proud of yourself is absolutely not that and we need more people to be their own cheerleaders and shout about their achievements instead of keeping it to themselves for fear they won't be good enough or they'll be slagged off.
Society is constantly tearing us down and I think that although social media is undoubtedly one of the best inventions of the modern world, it has contributed to the pressure upon every single one of us and gives trolls and bullies a platform for making you feel shitty, even if they've never met you. It's more important than ever that we believe in ourselves and push ourselves to be our best selves, whether it's in a degree, a job or whatever the hell else we want to do. I hope I can inspire people and make people realise they can do it and they can get through the struggle and the pressure and if you don't do as well as they hope, that's absolutely fine. Just do your god damn best and don't let anyone else tell you your best ain't good enough. I'm well aware there are people who have got first class degrees and people who have gained a hundred thousand Instagram followers or people who have walked straight out of their degree into their dream graduate jobs but that doesn't take away from my own success. I've achieved more than I ever thought I could and there's absolutely nothing wrong with being your own cheerleader throughout school, throughout university and throughout the rest of your life. Cheer yourself on, shout your success and don't bring other people down for shouting about theirs. You're brilliant.