The Summation of Graduation

So yeah, what now?

Well actually I have a bit of time to figure that out seeing as I stalled my entry into the real world by staying on at uni. Yes that is the real reason why I decided to do a masters, sue me.

I graduated the other day and what an ordeal it was. For those of you who are at uni or going to uni in the future you still have this to look forward to. But let me take you through the whole process of this mess we call graduation.

When we’re young and we see these American films and the characters are graduating its all very happy and celebratory and us Brits are like “damn I want to graduate, why don’t we graduate after EVERY year of school?” Let’s be honest that’s what Americans do right? They even graduate kindergarten. But that’s another story. But what isn’t depicted is the gritty preparations that underline the whole ceremony.

Let me start by saying that for some reason my university decides to have graduation in November? Is that even normal, like who does that?

So the whole process kicks off when you find out if you’ve passed uni basically and not flunked out like some bum. If you do then well done you’ve taken your first step towards escaping education. But it all goes downhill from there. Now I can’t say that I didn’t know about what was to come but its a completely different story when you’re experiencing it and realising how ludicrous it actually is. So you might get an email from your uni congratulating you on performing within the limits of university life and informing you on the next steps to take towards graduation. The first thing they probably want to know is if you’re attending or not. This is where I slipped up. Without even thinking I said yes. Actually, my mother said yes not me, I had no choice. Anyway then comes the money. Don’t worry, your ticket to your OWN graduation is free, what a relief, but obviously your parents and loved ones have to pay to watch the big occasion. Which I guess is fair enough. Then you get that email about hiring robes and mortarboards (those stupid hats). Let me tell you, you don’t wear them for very long but yet you have to pay £45 basically for traditional purposes. Now I know hiring anything costs money. But come on, I’ve paid 9 grand a year for this moment, I’ve finished uni and you’re still trying to squeeze money out of me. I would rather give you blood. So now you’re probably in your overdraft unless you’ve landed on your feet and found yourself a job already then go you. But did you know there’s a whole protocol for how you walk across a stage and shake a persons hand. You thought you knew everything about walking didn’t you? I mean you’ve been doing it since you were like 2. But oh no no you do not. You need a step by step guide on how to successfully travel 30 feet across a stage and shake the hand of a person you don’t even know.

At the risk of getting too into it, that’s pretty much the pre-ceremony preparations. Now let’s talk about the actual day. So these crafty buggers tried to make us get to the venue at 7am even though the thing started at 10. It was safe to say that wasn’t going to happen. So I got there at 8:30, was I at any disadvantage turning up an hour and 30 minutes late? No. What were they thinking? In fact i could’ve turned up 5 mins before 10 and I would’ve been fine. Never get anywhere on time kids, unless I’ve asked you to be somewhere then boy you better be at least an hour early. So I walk in and the first sign that this was going to be the beginning of the end was when I hit the queue to collect our gowns. The confirmation email said at the top in RED letters, so you know that’s serious, to “PRINT” the email. So why is this guy telling me that I could have shown him an electronic copy? Not only did I help in killing the environment I also lost out on valuable sleep as I had to rush to a printer at midnight and print off this “important” document. Thinking about it, what were they going to do? Not let me graduate? Ha… So yeah I was glad to realise that people dressed us which was great because I just about got my suit on. And the guy who was dressing me, put my hat on and said “well done perfect fit”. He congratulated me on picking the right size hat? Mate I just got a degree and you’re congratulating me on correctly measuring the size of my head…

Then we come to the ceremony itself. And I’ll tell you this for nothing, graduation is just 2 and a half hours of non stop clapping for people you don’t even know and courses you didn’t even know existed. I mean gaining a degree is a great thing and should be celebrated but I have never sat through anything so drawn out and “fake”. Its amazing seeing all these people smartly dressed in robes when you’ve seen them throwing up at 2am in the morning down the back of Chicken Cottage. There’s such a disconnect between Graduation and actual university life. University isn’t this structured and proper. Most of these people were probably on the lash every week and did assignments the night before they were due. So when it finally ends after standing for half an hour waiting for these people to slowly crawl out the hall, your hands are probably bleeding and you’re left thinking that you’d probably rather be in bed. (or is that just me). I couldn’t wait to get out of the robes that made me feel like I was on my way to Hogwarts. Which actually isn’t too bad a feeling. This was also my first time wearing a full suit which wasn’t bad if I’m totally honest.

So time to say goodbye to people you will probably never see or talk to again and enter the big wide world where you will probably get eaten alive and your degree will count for not very much. You realise you have well and truly been chewed up and spat back out. You can’t believe the 3/4 years has gone so quick and you begin to wish you were back in simpler times when your biggest worry was whether to buy brands or ASDA smart price.

Tip: Graduation pics are “like” gold mines on Facebook and Instagram. You could be killing a puppy but as long as you’re wearing the robes people are bound to like it.

Along with this I get a sense of guilt when people congratulate me on gaining a degree because to be honest I don’t feel like it was that hard to get. That’s not me being big headed or anything I just feel like I could’ve done a lot more. 

I know this all seems a bit negative which is only because its a blog post and most of them are just exaggerated. It wasn’t THAT bad but if I were to write about how “NOT BAD” graduation was that would make for some pretty boring reading.

I was looking forward to the part where we all chuck our hats in the air… but that didn’t even happen. I feel like I’ve been ripped off. The only chucking I did was of that cash when I paid for a hoodie and cloakroom.

Congratulations to everyone that graduated in 2015 and good luck in your future endeavors.

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