Tuesday 13th October 2015 was a special day for me. I graduated! I already knew my grades and had technically finished, but it was the day of the ceremony. Having dropped out of my first university, it was a day I didn’t think I would have the chance to experience. Or, for that matter, be able to give to my parents to experience either.
What a day it was.
It was an early start as I had to be there for 8.30 in the morning and I live over an hour away. Despite leaving plenty of time, there was still stress and panic trying to get into the city in time for the traffic was horrendous. We ended up using the Park and Ride, thinking there was a bus lane and finding there was not.
It didn’t matter though. I had plenty of time to sign in, get fitted out in my robes and have the professional photographs done with my family. Then I had the fun of balancing my coat over my robes and going across to the venue. I definitely could have done with it being a little warmer on the day – I was freezing.
Once at the venue, I could catch up with a few friends as we waited for the ceremony to start. It was all rather formal. We might have forgotten the part where we are now technically adults and got the giggles over how formal some of the proceedings were – especially the staff/important people all bowing to each other and wearing official robes. It seemed very over the top to me, but I guess that is graduation for you!
Once things began, it was an hour and a half of listening to speeches and hundreds of others being called up before you. Then it was literally five seconds to walk across the stage, shake the Vice Chancellor’s hand and down the other side. I made it without falling over – yay! It was so surreal. My mother asked me afterwards if they said my middle name or not and I genuinely couldn’t say – I think I had blanked it out from my mind or I wasn’t listening. One of them. Not sure I should admit to either, but there we go.
After everything was wrapped up and we all finally found our respective family members in the crowd, it was time to return to university for a “reception” and to collect our official certificates. It translated to picking up the certificate and having ten minutes to down a drink before they kicked us out to make ready for the next lot but still, meant I could see a few more people.
Luckily, we could hand in our robes there at university so we didn’t have to walk around in circles to give them back. Once I had de-robed, it was time to go and find some lunch because I was starving! It was all over by 3pm – university officially finished and now no going back!
It was a truly lovely day though.