Published: 19 July 2018

Congratulations #Classof2018

Emma Morgan

Graduation is a time to celebrate each and every individual success story. It is the culmination of years of hard work, and every one of our students graduating this week should move forward in their journey with their heads held high. What an achievement!

This week will see thousands of students graduate across 14 ceremonies at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. At each ceremony, one student is chosen to represent and speak for the graduating cohort.

Here is a snippet of what they have to say to the #Classof2018:

Liyu Shen – School of Engineering

“University is the most confusing part yet also the most amazing part of my past 22 years… It is like a big forge, full of uncertainty and challenges. We jumped into it without knowing whom we will become. All the elements around us continuously shape us rapidly. And with no doubt, the academic staff are certainly one of the greatest impacts influencing us during these years. Although they are the main reason why the university is sometimes painful – they created all the scary assignments, difficult exams, 9 am lectures….but, what they did for us is more than just delivering knowledge. They helped us gradually adapt to the real world.”

Esther Bukoye – School of Law and Social Justice 

“Like any good rom-com, it [university] ends, and you’re overjoyed. Not because the movie ended, but because of how it ended. Because we as students challenged ourselves in extraordinary ways. We mooted, we negotiated, we read far too many court cases … knowing that it would be worth it. There’s a saying – everything will be ok in the end and if it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”

Zainab Tejan-Cole – Management School 

“This university is the best for all types of students to thrive, without judgement being passed. From being a member of UK Youth Parliament to being a member of The Children in Care Council, I knew what my aspirations were – to help children get into higher education. And this university provided me with best platform to do so…One message I would like to leave with everyone is that no matter what your circumstances are, there is no limit to success.”

Emma Morgan – School of Dentistry 

“University is a roller coaster, and it can often feel like you’re sitting in the carriage alone. However in the Dental school, I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew there were 74 other people sitting with me, 74 people who could empathise with me and give me a helping hand, whilst making it a lot of fun at the same time…How lucky I am to have experienced something that makes saying goodbye so hard. So for now I say goodbye to this chapter of my life and I look forward to what comes next. This is the beginning of anything you want Class of 2018, and I wish you all the best.”

Georgina MacKay – Management School 

“As we stand ready to go into the ‘real world’ we must accept that we will face challenges and barriers. Any 22 year old who believes they have the next 30 years exactly planned out must stop and allow for the inevitable plot twists and curveballs life can throw at you. …I am so looking forward to the next chapter of my life and I know all of you will go on to achieve amazing things.”

Adam Walker – School of Psychology 

“I am the first in my family to attend university, let alone graduate, a feat that I am not shy to acknowledge…During my time at the University of Liverpool I have watched my friends and classmates grow into strong, resilient, and motivated people. I feel as though we should recognise that we have come to the point where we have proven to others, and most importantly ourselves, that we are all capable of achieving whatever we put our minds to.”

Jordan Holdsworth – School of the Arts 

“I now recognise graduation as an important celebration of both the now and the then. If I reflect on the past few years, I’d go so as far as to say my time here has been a blessing. Not only because of all of those wonderful firsts…but also because I’ve learnt so much about myself and about my degree…Whilst sadly this day marks the last as a student at Liverpool, one thing is certain, I wouldn’t have swapped it for the world.”

Molly Simmons – School of Environmental Sciences 

“Geography at Liverpool isn’t just a group of people doing the same degree… it is a community that students and lecturers are a part of…Perhaps it is down to the field trips and those long lab days which have created a sociable and friendly learning environment, but it’s largely down to the friendly faces of those on my course. I have made wonderful friends for life that have supported and pushed me throughout my degree and I couldn’t have done it without you. I will be infinitely happier and richer for knowing you all.”

Sophie Leaver – School of the Arts 

“From singing in and conducting choirs in both Liverpool cathedrals, tours in London, running the University Singers choir, working here at the Philharmonic, to finding out that music psychology was not for me, and neither are the quad vods at faculty, travelling the world a bit more, making the best friends I’ve ever had and will keep for life and gaining the life skills I could only dream of having back in 2015…I’ve learnt that if you want something you can get there. It will probably take a bit of time, it might take a semester singing alto in the choir, or just a whole lot of hard work, but with determination and passion, you can reach your goals.”

Sarah Smith – School of Life Sciences 

“Thinking back to the first day, week and semester of university has made me realise how much I have transformed in confidence, intellect, and ambition… This is all down to people that have supported me, the research experiences I have gained here at the University and on a year in industry at Unilever, and my role as a senior Liverpool student ambassador… I would like to offer my congratulations to all the graduates here today and wish you the best of luck for the future.”

David Shaw – School of Histories, Languages and Cultures 

“On my way into campus each day, I would stand and read the ideals written on the university foundation stone.  It says that the university was raised by the city of Liverpool for the advancement of learning and the ennoblement of life. … As graduates here today, we are evidence that those founding ideals remain central to the University. We now have an obligation to carry those words with us following graduation. The University has provided us with the experience, skills and knowledge to ensure we can work for the ennoblement of life and the advancement of learning. As we go forward we must use those ideals so that all sections of society have the opportunity flourish. Whatever the future holds, those words will stay with me.”

Mollie Williams – School of Physical Sciences 

“We have made friendships that will stay with us forever, no matter how many times they would steal your milk or forget to bring any change for the taxi, because uni isn’t always all fun and games, it can be really tough, and these are the people who have stood by and helped us through. I never moved far away from home for uni, and everyone graduating today will know why. Liverpool really is a special city, it’s a home away from home. Somewhere we will all come back to and think fondly of the memories we have made in this city.”

Surya Ravichandran – School of Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science 

“As I stand here today, along with the other graduates, we do not know what is or what may come our way. Some of us are going into graduate schemes, others into post-graduate study and others may decide to go travelling. All of us have different paths in life. It is easy to lose track of each other as we pursue these paths. It’s as easy to make a friend as it is to lose one. But there is only one place that will be remembered for connecting us all, giving us memories that will never be lost, unforgettable experiences and most of all, the true bond of a friendship that lasts a lifetime.”

Ciaran Grafton-Clarke – School of Medicine 

“There is this overwhelming perception in medical school that everything is stressful, tiring, unforgiving, and I promise you that at times this is absolutely true. But could you really imagine yourself doing anything else? We made memories that we will never forget, with friends we will always have. In a few short years we have gained a lifetime of experience. We have witnessed the resilience of cancer survivors. We have observed the decisiveness of a trauma surgeon. We have seen the unrivalled joy of new parents; and the devastating sadness of personal loss. It is these experiences, coupled with the skills and knowledge, delivered to us so expertly by the School of Medicine, which has prepared us for what is to come.”

Image top shows dentistry graduate Emma Morgan speaking at her ceremony in the Philharmonic Hall on Tuesday.

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