My Degree Results Are In!

Exciting news! I found out I’ll be graduating university with a high First Class degree in computer science. I’m so happy with myself I could scream!

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I’m so proud of myself!

Four very hard, very demanding and very tearful years of university have come to an end and at least I have something incredible to show for it. I may no longer want to pursue this industry but there’s no doubt that, if I ever wanted to find a place back into computing, I’d be welcome with this qualification.

Before the release of my results, I was actually pretty down about graduating. I don’t want to walk onto stage in front of hundreds of people – I feel sick just thinking about it. There’s so many outdated, old-fashioned rules that have to be followed during a graduation ceremony too, so it’s really not my cup of tea. But, now I have my results, it feels like it can be an actual celebration. A goodbye to two of the best and two of the worst years of my life. University has been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions!

During this time, me and Matthew built our little family together. We wouldn’t have our home if we didn’t decide to study at The University of Hull. We wouldn’t have our cats. Our life is wonderful and, despite the ups and downs we faced at university, coming home together was always happy.

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Have you had any good news lately?

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You can read my previous post here.

 

Taking The Plunge

Guess who’s finished university!? Four very long, very hard years of studying for my computer science degree, and it’s all over. I actually finished last month, but things have been crazy and I haven’t had time to catch you up yet. I graduate mid-July (which I’m incredibly nervous about, let me tell you now) and then I’ll officially be a graduate. For the first time in 18 years, I won’t be a student.

That seems weird to me. I’ve been studying practically my entire life, since starting school at five years old, and then it just goes away. I’m already feeling an ache to take on extra courses, but I’m way too busy at the moment. I’ll get there. I just bloody love learning new things.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what I’ll be doing with my new, fancy, shiny computer science degree that I worked incredibly hard for? The answer is a big fat nothing, actually. In the final two years of university, I had a horrible time – my health and my mental health were in tatters and I had to take nearly 5 months off. During this time, I realised I’d lost all love and passion for the subject and the industry. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my long life sitting in an office with potentially nasty, sexist and unwelcoming colleagues (after all, that’s all I’ve ever experienced). It didn’t matter that I knew there was a very high possibility that a lot of possible work places would be a lot better than my experiences. It didn’t matter that I’d forgive and forget. I didn’t like it anymore.

If you’ve stuck around for a while on this blog of mine, you probably know of my love of photography, that story I always tell you about having to decide between photography or computer science and that choice of happiness or money. I used to go on about all of that quite often ’cause it was always on my mind.

Well, it finally happened. I took the plunge. Instead of frantically applying for jobs in the final months of university, that would ultimately make me unhappy for the foreseeable future, I began frantically working on something else. Late last year, I set up my portrait photography business, The Rose Quartz Photography, with only the unreachable dream of becoming a full-time photographer. I presumed I’d use my weekends alone to photograph all of the happy families, sleepy newborns and cheeky toddlers, whilst working a computing-based full-time job during the week. Nah, sod it.

Me and Matt discussed this a lot in my final months of university. He has been my rock during these two crappy years and I can’t even explain how incredible he’s been with me, especially when I was at my worst. He saw first-hand how unhappy the computing industry was making me and how drastically it was changing me. I was losing my hair, for god’s sake. When we decided that it would be better for my health (and probably our relationship too) to focus on happiness instead of money, he’s been nothing but supportive.

The Rose Quartz Photography is my new, full-time future. It’s my baby and I put all of my time and thoughts into it. Although I started this venture late last year, it’s only the last month that I’ve been working on it full time. When I’m not photographing wonderful people, I’ll be editing their beautiful photographs. Or I’ll be marketing my business on social media. Or I’ll be advertising my sessions all over Hull. Or I’ll be collaborating with other small businesses. Portrait photography, in all forms, is incredible. I’m constantly learning new things. I’m expressing my creativity. I’m meeting new people – regular clients who come to me with their bumps then their babies, models who love the effort I put into our creative, fashion or makeup shoots, families who leave me glowing reviews. It’s a happy place. It’s exciting.

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So, if you’re up in Hull, East Yorkshire some time soon, and you’re looking for a photographer, drop me a message! I’m always happy to help (emphasis on the happy there, cause I really bloody am).

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What have you been up to recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

 

My Five Year Plan

It’s hard to tell, because the future is never set in stone, but I have a feeling that the next five years are going to be the best years of my life – or, at least, the start of something wonderful. Having spent my entire life shackled down in education, I’m curious to see what it has to offer me when I’m released into the wild… Don’t get me wrong, my education incredibly important to me but it’s not like I can venture off into my ideal career whilst I’m still studying at university! After graduation and once I fully grasp what I want to do, the rest of my life can really begin.

My Five Year Plan

So, what do I want to have achieved in five years time? A lot, actually, but I’m going to limit it to the biggies – otherwise, we could be here all day!

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Graduate:

This time next year I’ll be a Computer Science graduate with, unless I suddenly halve my ability, a first class degree! I’ve got a feeling my 4th and final year will be the best one yet but I’m looking forward to graduating nonetheless.

Settle on a Career Choice:

Although I love do software development, the office environment is just not for me (as this horrific year has helped point out). I can’t stand being stuck at a desk for 8 hours, surrounded by people I’m forced to spend the majority of my day with, even if I’m doing something completely fantastic. It’s unhealthy and restricting – frankly, I hate it. So, I need to decide what I’m going to do. Freelancing is always an option, but a difficult one. Then, there’s the conflict between my other interests – photography and writing. Ideally, my perfect life would have me working as a freelance programmer and a part-time studio/commercial/event photographer, who blogs on the evenings. That’s the dream.

Overcome a Handful of My Fears:

Yeah, I’m scared of pretty much everything. I’d absolutely love to be able to live my life like the majority of other people do. I was going to list which fears I’m most desperate to overcome but it’s difficult to explain – it’s more my fear of what could happen that makes day-to-day tasks a struggle, and that’s where I need to focus my energy.

Get Married:

Without a doubt, in the next five years, me and Matt will be married. If not in 2017, then definitely in 2018. I just can’t wait. We’ve already decided on every single detail and now it’s just a case of saving up the money. We had another wonderful idea today too, coincidentally, so I’m feeling very excited!

My Five Year Plan

Buy our First Home:

Settling down in our home town would definitely be the easiest and quickest option, but we’re not quite sure if that’s the way to go yet. We don’t know if we want to rent for a few more years – giving us the flexibility to move before making a decision – or if we want to move abroad – to avoid the future of Brexit. It’s a tough one, but it will certainly have to be decided within five years.

Have a Rainy Day Fund:

Building a life without savings is a bit risky but it’s sometimes the only option if money’s tight. Even if it’s tough, I’d love to have a rainy day fund within the next five years or so. Washing machine broke? Poorly kitties? Unexpected dental emergencies? No worries!

Visit Italy:

Me and Matt have dreamt about Italy throughout our entire relationship. It’s our ideal holiday destination but, because I don’t like flying and I’m scared of the current crisis situation that seems to be spreading all over Europe, for now I’ll be sticking to the UK. If the world doesn’t continue to go mad, and everything calms down a little, I’d love to think we’ll be hopping straight on a plane to our little slice of paradise.

Start Horse Riding Again:

Me and my mum used to go horse riding and it’s something that has stuck with me, right into adulthood. I still get butterflies thinking about riding – it’s magical. Horses are beautiful, powerful, majestic animals. A lot of little girls love horses, but I just never grew out of it. Recently, I was looking into taking adult lessons and even if I only get to ride a couple of times a month, that’s still life goals right there.

Complete the Race For Life:

I’ve had this on my ‘to-do’ list for a few years now (and it means a hell of a lot to me), but since getting it down into words for my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge, it’s been etched deeper into the forefront of my mind. To complete my challenge, I have to run the Race For Life in 2017 – I better get training!

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What’s on your five year plan?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Matt’s Graduation Day

After 3 years of studying English at The University of Hull, Matt (my gorgeous, clever hubby-to-be, if you didn’t already know) finally graduated at the city hall. I am very, very proud.

It was a really great day, as you can imagine. His mum and grandma joined me as guests, and after the ceremony his brothers and my mum joined us for pictures and celebratory drinks in the town centre! Even the brothers kept saying, there was just an atmosphere throughout the day and you couldn’t help but feel proud. I’m so happy for him.

Hull University English Graduation

When we met about 5 years ago, Matt didn’t have any plans to go to university – he actually wanted to join the navy but, as we grew closer, he decided against that and got stuck right into his studies like his workaholic girlfriend! Now, he’s going on to work at his favourite college in Hull, the place we actually met, for a year of teacher training. He’s proper chuffed.

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After the graduation ceremony in the city hall, which I’ll get onto in a moment, we met up with the rest of the guests and went for some drinks in mine and Matt’s go-to pub. When the parents and grandparents set off home, the rest of us decided to stay out for more celebratory drinks… of course. I was going to say “you only graduate once”, but I guess that’s not always the case! The night ended up being absolutely fantastic. We had drinks on the marina, before going home to change into something less formal, and then head back out to a little, quirky theatre pub that I’d never been to before. Lots and lots and lots of drinks later, I set off home with a very drunk newly graduated fiancé.

Note: This pub is called the Old English Gentleman and if you’re ever in Hull, check it out. Because it’s next door to Hull’s New Theatre, you get a lot of actors popping in for drinks. It’s super.

The ceremony itself was weird, enjoyable, but weird… I wasn’t actually expecting so much formality, and I don’t know why. I’m not at all religious, so the heavy focus on religion and faith was unexpected. I presumed the main focus would be more on the hard work of the students who have made it this far, but instead it felt more like a like a very formal, very old-fashioned wedding. It was an experience, nonetheless. The city hall is beautiful. Awkwardly, the entire area around the city hall is currently under construction so the ‘hat throw’ thing was in the middle of a building site! It didn’t bother us though – we headed straight into Queen’s Gardens, which is a small bit of greenery in the city centre, for some pictures.

We got some lovely photographs together so I’m over the moon. Normally, because I’m the one taking the photographs, I’m never in them! I asked my mum to take some of us on my camera though. I set it on an ‘auto’ mode so she didn’t have to fiddle with the manual settings, and she got some great shots! Thanks, mumma!

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Well done, Matt! We’re all super proud of you. I’m really glad you enjoyed your special day.

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Currently, I Am… | #8

Hi, friends!

I absolutely love writing posts for my “Currently, I Am” feature. It’s such a personal thing to do – to let someone into your real life – but I really enjoy putting together and summarising what I’ve been up to. Not only does it help me appreciate my life more, it also lets you know what hobbies, interests and memorable moments have happened in my life. I guess you like to know this, right? You follow me for a reason! I’ve always been pretty personal on my blog, anyway. It’s like a giant diary to share with friends I met along my blogging journey.

My last catch-up post was, coincidentally, a month ago today. This is a fairly irregular feature but a happy coincidence nonetheless! A lot seems to have changed since then. But, it’s one of those months that’s only kind of changed inside of me… you know? It’s hard to explain! Even though I’ve felt like a lot has changed, maybe to an outsider I’m just doing the same old.

Graduation Currently I Am

Let’s get cracking then! What have I been up to lately?

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Currently, I am feeling

…a lot of things, actually. I’m happy with my home, my life and how perfect Matthew really is. I fear that all of that could change in the next couple of years though. I’m nervous and frightened about what my future holds after yesterday’s terrible news that Britain will be leaving the EU. It was a horrendously rushed and violent period of our history that brought out the worst in so many people. A lot of ‘vote Leave’ supporters are already starting to regret their decision.

Currently, I am watching

Orange is the New Black, season 4! We’re only on episode 6, so no spoilers please. We’re both enjoying it so far though. To be honest, it’s just really refreshing to see so much diversity in one show again. I have a feeling that’s actually going to be problematic though, considering the recent ‘woopsie’ that Piper just made… we’ll see. Game of Thrones finale tomorrow too! I can’t even talk about it… I’m so excited and nervous and ahhhhh it’s so good.

Currently, I am reading

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R Carey. I started this last year but only read a couple of chapters. I was going through a terrible patch and I couldn’t find the concentration to do much more than crawl out of bed in the morning. However, I’m feeling good recently and I’m so glad I went back to this book! It’s absolutely incredible! I’m just over half way, and I think this may be one of my favourite books of all time… I hope that’s not a premature statement. I guess if it has a terrible ending that could all change. The writing is just amazing though. I don’t see it letting me down!

It’s been kind of a running joke in these posts about how little I’ve read recently… that’s changed. I can’t wait to smash through my fantastic list of books!

Currently, I am playing

…not a lot really and not very often. I’m enjoying work a lot, which is obviously fantastic, but it means I’m mentally exhausting myself every day. When I get home, I don’t really want to do anything other than snuggle up on the couch with Matt or read my book. I’m still technically in the middle of Elder Scrolls: Online (which I think I may jump on after I finish writing!) and if I have a spare half hour in the evening, me and Matt are still loving Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

Currently, I am excited for

…omg, a lot. July is going to be an incredibly busy and exciting month! At the beginning of the month, me and my mum are going to stay in a beautiful country house for the night which we’re both really looking forward to. Matt also graduates soon! In the same week, he graduates from university and turns 22. Busy week. I’ve took a couple of weeks off work to celebrate everything plus to have a little ‘summer holiday’. We’re planning on bus hopping around Yorkshire for a week like we did last summer. I can’t wait!

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What have you been up to lately? Are you watching Orange is the New Black?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.