If you’re a big fan of Oasis, you will surely recognise the songs that I refer to in the title. The words ´big fan´ are emphasised on purpose. Lots of readers will be familiar with ´Don´t Look Back in Anger´. But only big fans will know that ´Sail On´ is one of the latest songs from Noel Gallagher´s solo work.
In this article, I will talk about my journey with the University of London. I refer to these songs because I consider them to be quite representative of it.
Back in 2007, while I was at high school, a local representative of the University of London here in Argentina, came to my school and introduced me to the University and its programs. I was quite impressed, and I said to myself: "One day, I will be doing of one of them". I had to wait for a long time to make that wish come true. And in 2016, it finally did; I enrolled for a Postgraduate Certificate in Laws. A big and brand new chapter of my life had just begun.
My idea was to make the progression from Certificate to Diploma to LLM. According to my calculations back then, I saw myself accomplishing that in 2018.
I thought that achieving that aim was going to be a smooth ride. I believed that I would have no problem at all in studying and sitting for the exams in time. I imagined myself that in a brief period of time I would be in London, in the graduation ceremony, wearing a gown and a cap, receiving the diploma from the director, while I waved to my mother, who would be shedding tears of joy in her front row seat. In reality, my journey turned out to be quite different.
During 2016, I could not sit for any exams. I was also in the last year of another Master´s degree in Criminal Law from a local university, which I still had to finish.
I sat only for two exams in 2017, which I passed. And studying for them was not an easy task. Again, in 2018, I did not sit for any exam. I had to deliver a written thesis for the other Master´s degree and defend it orally (which I successfully did and, as a result, I graduated). In 2019, I sat for the three remaining exams, which I passed. And finally, could get the Postgraduate Certificate degree.
On top of all of that, at the end of 2016, I had a panic attack. This stemmed from an anxiety problem, which still haunts me to this day. All these twists and turns, plus my anxiety issues made things difficult. I kept wondering: where did it all go wrong? During those years, sometimes I questioned whether I still wanted to pursue the LLM, or if starting the program was a good decision at all. Confusion and disorientation are two of the consequences of anxiety.
Despite those feelings, I kept myself on track. I knew what I wanted: to expand my knowledge and professional horizon within my field. And I knew that the University of London would give me the tools to do it.
That is why 'Sail On' is representative of my journey with the University of London. Because, after all I went through, I kept sailing on. Despite the anxiety, the fear, the doubts, the disappointments and the confusion, I kept moving forward. No matter how dark the clouds were, and how rough the sea was.
And through my journey, I also learned to not look back in anger. To not be angry with myself for how things turn out. It’s a mistake to fall into the circular thought of 'if I had done this or that, it would all be different'. Everyone's story is different. The past is the past. We need to embrace it, and learn from it.
In other words, 2020 will find me sailing on, looking back with pride.
Gonzalo is studying the LLM via distance learning in Argentina.