On my 18th birthday, I visited The Shard and saw the endless sprawl of London from the country’s tallest building. Today, I returned for this, my 21st. Although the London skyline hasn’t changed much since my last visit, I certainly have.

Back in 2013, I was close to completing my A levels with no idea how influential university would be, or whether Sussex was the right choice for me. Now, I stand just months away from my graduation and looking ahead to the future having met some amazing people, climbed up the ladder of the student newspaper and become a much more independent and positive person. None of this seemed possible three years ago today.

It’s only since I started university that I have sought help for my mental health, which has allowed me to feel more comfortable in my own skin and, slowly, more confident in my own abilities. There are still bumps in the road, but I am on the right path now.

These last three years have honestly been life-changing. The amount of experience I have gained has made me a more open-minded, independent and generally better person.

None of this would have been possible without a wonderful group of friends and my loving family who have supported me throughout and stood by me in good times and bad.

I want to take today as an opportunity to thank them for always being there and always believing me, even when I didn’t. You all have helped make me into the person I am today, and for that I am very greatful.