Bittersweet day for brave Robyn who sat exam after mum died
Psychology student Robyn McCue's graduation will be tinged with sadness today, with an empty space where her mother should be.
The Newtownabbey woman is graduating with a first-class honours degree in psychology, but she will be missing her beloved mum Jane, who passed away in January aged 47 after losing her battle with liver failure.
Jane's death came just one day before Robyn was due to sit her final examination.
But despite receiving the devastating news, Robyn summoned up all her strength and decided to go ahead and sit the exam, knowing that it was what her mother would have wanted her to do.
Speaking ahead of her graduation, Robyn said her mother had been her inspiration and told how she knew that she would have wanted her to do the exam and finish her degree.
"It was really tough, but I decided to take the exam as my mum is the reason I'm at university in the first place, and she had always encouraged me to work hard," Robyn said.
"The School of Psychology at Queen's were really helpful and informed me of my options regarding extenuating circumstances. I couldn't have done it without their support.
"My mum was such an inspiring woman with such a great work ethic, and I think she passed that down to me.
"I decided to continue with my final year as I knew she'd want me to graduate no matter what.
"A degree from Queen's opens pathways to new professions and I have learned many new skills that I will use in the future."
Robyn is now planning to pursue further study.
"My time here has really fuelled my passion for research, and I hope one day to be able to study clinical psychology at Queen's," she said.
"I'm looking forward to a new chapter in my life."
Robyn, who wants to go ahead and start a PhD in the School of Psychology in October, will be celebrating her graduation with her boyfriend George, her brother Warren, and her family and friends.