Chota

Chota

Saturday, 4 July 2015

{10 years on...a reflection}

{MA graduation at the Courtauld, Somerset House}
10 years ago today I walked down an aisle in a church on the Strand and received a new status. No, I didn't get married, I received an MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. It was the best year of my life--the most challenging but also one of the happiest. It also put me in the biggest debt, something I'm still paying off. 

10 years on, I'm happy to say that pursuing an MA in an amazing institution was the best decision I have ever made. At the Courtauld I made some lasting friendships--including meeting my best friend and other life-long friends. It hasn't been easy since. I certainly can say I've achieved some accomplishments as well encountered some obstacles--four years after receiving my MA, I had a PhD in hand and was facing the brave new world of doctorhood during an economic crisis that meant hiring freezes in most universities. Those institutions that were hiring also saw 100s of applicants just like me, going for the same jobs. I worked in 3 academic posts in three different institutions in three different cities, in two different countries, before landing a permanent post in another country (which so happened to be the location of my dreams).
Words of advice to my former self: none. Well done for setting the bar high when I was still dreaming so that my later self would seek to meet those high expectations. It certainly wasn't easy, but boy am I happy with where I ended up. The struggles were worth it.
{Courtauld MA graduation 2005. Note nude statue in background. How appropriate!}

{ my sister Christina was doing her PhD at Oxford at the time & was able to attend my MA graduation}
{friendships to last a lifetime}
{celebrating!}
{a charity dinner at the House of Lords, just one of the great memories from the year}

{my best friend Katie & me, in Cefalu, Sicily after submitting our MA thesis}

{celebrating outside in the gorgeous courtyard of Somerset House. 4 July 2005}

Congrats to all my fellow Courtauld graduates who have sought & found their various paths--I wish we were having an actual reunion, but sending love across the internet!
xo,
L

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