So, recently I attended my graduation ceremony along with my peers. It was a glorious rainy day in Dublin, where everything left outside more than a few seconds would get soaked! Though the weather was not giving any joy, there where plenty of smiles on all faces while we were lining up, in alphabetical order, for the ceremony of awarding us our degrees. Most of us were collecting a master and a few part-timers their diplomas.

About a week and half before, I was given a heads up for the ceremony. Apparently I did decently on my overall performance. So good, that I got the highest academic performance in my category and was to be awarded a prize for my performance. It goes without saying my parents were beaming with joy when I told them! I, on the other hand, was somewhat detached. I had never been the best before and was strangely unfamiliar with the feeling. I did not tell anyone I was going to get a prize, but waited for the information to be leaked at the graduation ceremony.

Me and the president of GCD

Following that came what I can only describe as a wave of congratulations, for both me and my parents. It was a terrific feeling, but then again I hardly did anything different then I would have done. I was told it was hard work though when recalling the time I did recognise difficult situations, but do not remember them as hard work. If this is due to having passed these barriers, so that I now consider them smaller obstacles than they were, I do not know.

Anyway, after the celebrations in Dublin I got celebrated at home where my story got tipped to a local newspaper. I got a call from a journalist who wanted to bring the story for the local area. Before I knew it, I had given an interview and had made arrangements for a minor photoshoot for the article. After the article had been published, my parents and I got another round of congratulations. However, one person’s commendation in particular caught my attention.

It was my grandmother who besides being proud also mentioned that she thought it was about time with a success story in the news. Asking to the exact context, she explained that she was getting slightly annoyed by how often unhappy or unsuccessful (read gangs, drugs, drinking, theft and violence) youths where mentioned. I know my grandmother is old fashioned and, therefore, tends to exaggerate things from time to time, so the past seems more rosy than it perhaps was. However, it might also just be me who stopped paying attention to these things, which I think is particularly disturbing as a fact.

Now that I had my master, I went on to the road. I hitched from Denmark down to Berlin where I am going to spend an entire weeks time visiting friends I met in Düsseldorf, Paris, Dublin and the city itself. Then I have to make my way to Istanbul where I booked a flight for the 22nd of December to Hamburg, so I can make it back home for Christmas. The 27th I will be flying to Oslo for two nights before going to Dublin to celebrate New Years with more friends. What follows in January is yet to be known, but I am sure I will figure it out soon enough.