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Like many people I have been waiting for the post man over the past few days. Everyday that I didn’t get that letter, it felt like a heart attack was becoming more likely. Everyone kept telling me that I shouldn’t worry because I had done my best. I had suffered so much this year, spending every other day contemplating quitting and the endless sleepless nights. I stopped wearing make up and took out my weave, there was no time for glamour while completing this beast. Then after over a month of hoping, praying and anxiety it finally came. I flipped straight to the back page. I got a C.

 How could all of that work get me what I feel to be an average grade. Just acceptable, but nothing to shout about. I picked an original topic, spent hours researching, writing and redrafting, but still I was given a C. I had various people read my dissertation and they all thought it was well written. No grade could ever fully reward me for the pain and suffering that that final project caused me. The dissertation is meant to be the final chance to prove how much you have learned and improved over the course of a degree. Did this mark mean I was at the same level as when I started?

 Of course it doesn’t. I have developed so many skills while at university and I can’t allow this mark to get me down. Maybe the reason I feel so bad is because I have been surrounded by people who are obsessed with getting a 1st. I have always found university hard because you have to produce work according to a strict criteria. I have had various essays, including my dissertation were markers have said that my topic was too ambitious. Is it possible to be too ambitious? I live outside of the box and my creativity knows no bounds. What this grade has shown me is that I am not an academic. That does not take away all my other talents and all the success I am yet to have in the future. But how do I over come my current feelings of shame and failure?

These feelings only exist because I have allowed myself to believe in a system that does not allow for individuality. A narrow minded system that teaches you pointless modules and doesn’t prepare you for life. University teaches you how to write essays and summarise the opinions of others who have been taught how to think, by this same system. The only advice I can give to others and myself is that this grade will have no effect on your future life and career. As I sit here with the sun shining on me I can’t help but feel optimistic. It’s time to close the door on this part of my life.