The day we were all excited about (but secretly dreading it at the same time) has arrived. Graduation. Possibly the most important day for every student. For it is then when it all officially ends…
My graduation took place on Thursday, 25th July, and was the last graduation of the year. It was a very important and exciting day, mainly because my grandparents travelled over 1000 miles to see me graduate, and it meant the world to me to have them there.
I was really impressed with the graduation ceremony. After collecting and putting on our robes (which look even fancier in real life!) we made our way to the Guildhall square and spent some time catching up with course mates and taking photos. When the time came, we entered Guildhall through a student only entrance, sat down in our assigned seats and waited for the ceremony to start.
It started with the Vice-Chancellor and departments’ representatives entering the Guildhall. The Vice-Chancellor then opened the ceremony with a short speech and following that, the presentation of degrees and graduates began. We were required to quietly leave the Guildhall and make our way backstage to prepare for our appearance on stage. We queued in line, waiting for our turn while the graduation assistants adjusted our robes and checked the order in which we were standing. They checked the order at least 3 times with the last check right by the edge of the stage.
I have to say, waiting backstage is kind of nerve wrecking. All I could think about was that I could not embarrass myself by tripping, or falling, or dropping my hat, or having my hood slide off… in front of everyone in Guildhall (and everyone outside, watching me on the big screen, AND everyone watching online. No pressure, right?) The tripping part was especially important for girls, as majority of us wore high heels. The good news is: no one tripped! Some people even did little victory dances! It felt very good to get out there and be congratulated in front of so many people for our hard work and effort over the past three years. I was proud of myself and all my course mates.
The ceremony ended with closing speech from the Vice-Chancellor and a short video from the Chancellor Sandi Toksvig (who unfortunately could not be with us on that day due to work commitments). After we exited Guildhall, our entire department gathered around on Guildhall steps to take a final photo.
Afterwards, there was time for final goodbyes and even more photos. This was definitely the saddest part of the day – realising that our University experience is officially over. What is awaiting us right now, is the real life out there. The life of grown ups, with full time jobs and council tax to pay. But we will be okay.