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Madeleine’s blog

Aspiring to conquer life's challenges - or maybe just my degree for now!

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That’s all folks – I’ve graduated!

Not quite it on the blogging front (aren’t you all thrilled!), but this is my penultimate post as part of my time on the Insider team. This blog in particular for me, is perhaps one of the most important of them all. This scheme was created to give an insight into life at university – both academically and socially. So for a year and a half, I’ve written about gruelling deadlines, those nights out (yes, you know the ones I mean!) and the ups and downs that come with the student name. But last Wednesday, I joined the rest of my course and my family in a celebration of our success and hard work.

I am now a graduate of Cardiff University!

Was the day everything I thought it’d be? No, probably because I’ve watched too many American films of graduation ceremonies! (no I did NOT mean High School Musical… ok maybe I did) There definitely isn’t any dancing and singing, and in true Cardiff fashion, it was cloudy and threatening to rain. Part of it was more stressful than I thought it would be; leaving enough time – or too much time – to get your gown (be prepared to wander around with some strange looks!), finding where to go when you get to your ceremony… and that moment when you realise you only get three clicks of a button for your official graduation photo that will forever hang in the homes of all your relatives. Oh and maybe most importantly, do not, whatever you do, be that one person who falls on the way to shake hands with the Chancellor! ( I didn’t, I was just very concerned I might in my fabulous but fairly uncomfortable new Ted Baker shoes) Once you get past working out the logistics of the day, it’s amazing and something that I’ll print thousands of photos of and incessantly talk about on social media for a lifelong digital imprint. In fact, I thought I’d put some up here  rather than just talking you through it…

Donning the cap and robe

Family photos in Cathays Park

In true Kate & Wills fashion, my brother and I took to the balcony in Main Building

Paparazzi’d by my own mum!

One for the history books: Wednesday 16th July – The first Phillips family selfie!

I didn’t fall!

Post-Ceremony cocktails at Browns Bar & Brasserie

Any excuse! Pre-dinner cocktails at Lab 22

Dinner at Giovannis on Park Place

CPLAN Reception: Class of 2014


I’m not sure I’ll ever have another day like it in my life, I don’t think my mum has grasped that I’m not in love with academia in the same way as her and won’t be considering a Doctorate in later life! That made it even more prominent for me though, when I did my A-levels I thought there was never a chance I’d get through uni and there were times along the way where I still didn’t think I was going to get the 2:1 I was striving for.  But there you have it, I’m a graduate, I have a BSc in Human Geography and Planning. The day itself wasn’t about me celebrating that particular event, but what it represented in terms of 18 years of education and the person that I’ve grown into in that time.  But more importantly, it was about celebrating it with the friends and family I love, who have helped me through it all.

So to round off, I feel some thanks are in order. Firstly, thank you to Cardiff University, for founding the Cardiff School of Geography and Planning, for taking me in and giving me a degree! The lecturers, the staff and even Glamorgan building itself are a testimony to Cardiff University and everything that it stands for. Thank you to all my friends: from the girls at 99 to The Nest and everyone on my course. I’ve met some truly beautiful people and I feel blessed and privileged to have been able to spend what really are ‘the best years of your life’ with them (well, so far!). Lastly, thank you to my family, you have all been a true rock and inspiration, not just while I have been at University but throughout the years and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

Congratulations and well done to every single person that graduated this week. Be proud of your accomplishments and close the book on this chapter of your life with a smile; excited and ready for what the world has in store for some of the brightest and most talented people of our age – yes believe it or not, that’s us!


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