So…… Graduation season is upon us! Tis the end of an era for the Hogwartsy-gowned students with champagne flutes, strawberries and weepy parents. But what does graduation reaaaally mean? Sure, smartarses it means you’ve finished university bla bla bla, but it actually means much more. OR DOES IT?!! (yeah it does..)
THE END OF THREE YEARS (or even more). LIKE IT’S THE END and it’s so good but also bittersweet and scary because you’re free but also bye friends and also hello grown up world gah… all of the emotions. You have to somehow deal with the happiness of passing the great game that is university and nailing it because hey look you’ve graduated well done but also having to deal with the sadness of not hanging out with your friends every day because everyone moves home (even to other countries) AND you’re scared to enter the non-education real scary world. Why? It isn’t fair to CONFUSE US WITH THE EMOTIONS.. meanwhile your family is getting emosh and soppy and taking a lot of photos of your happy sad confused state as you also have to try and keep your sash thing in the right place and stop your gown from billowing and making you look like a damn (clever, graduate) hippo. IT’S ALMOST AS HARD AS UNI ITSELF but it isn’t so that’s ok I guess.
The point is, the graduation ceremony is about so much more than a certificate. It’s a time to be totally self indulgent and reminisce about all the great experiences you’ve had with your friends (all the hilarious escapades), a time to thank your family and friends and whoever supported you through the shite times and the times you wanted to give up or run away from all your responsibilities. Graduation is a time to be proud of your friends and family but mostly be proud of yourself. Its so easy to think its arrogant, big-headed or self-obsessive to dwell on your achievements but by heck this is the day for you to do just that. Its not a negative thing? Anyone who tells you otherwise can shove it somewhere dark. You’ve had help and support but YOU DID IT. You. Take a moment to be proud of yourself. Everyone faces their own battles during university; whether it be money issues, health problems, friendship mishaps, accommodation woes, homesickness, stress….whatever it was, you conquered it. Well done you and congradulations. Remember how well you’ve done as you enjoy the moment with everyone else. IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU TODAY BABY
(^me me me me)
Now back to the issues at hand….you now have the struggle of being CONSTANTLY ASKED “so what are you doing next year?”.. for some, the realisation that this piece of slightly-thicker-than-paper-but-not -quite-card certificate is potentially the ticket to your future is quite a startling one..
BUT ITS OKAY FOLKS! For me, I am staying out of the real world by continuing to Masters level study so I’ll be going through all these damn emotions again in a year. For others, jobs are already lined up and your lives are on grown up levels already! For many others, they have no idea and that’s okay too. You take some time to work out where your path will take you. Don’t be pressured by people’s judgey faces, you need this time to make sure you do what’s best for you. So embrace it man. Be free and own it. (And ignore that judgey woman behind me…we ignored her therefore passed the test.)
People take graduation so seriously as a big prestigious professional kinda ceremony bla bla bla when really it is whatever the hell you want it to be. Be happy for your achievement, be sad for the end of an era, be excited or nervous (or both) for the future but most of all be proud.
I officially want to thank Queens for giving me a group of friends for whom I would do anything, and whom I love dearly. For teaching me I’m x100 stronger than I ever thought I was. For making me realise I am actually a bit smart and can do stuff. For giving me the chance to go through hell and beat it and win and come out a better and happier person. And for having such nice lecturers and pretty buildings for photos.
So to all you folk who were gradueats and are now graduates (sorry really awful tense-based pun but I just couldn’t not), I raise my glass to you. To all you future gradu-gonna-ates, embrace the good times and know that the bad times will all be worth it. To all you already gradu-eaten, well I belatedly raise that glass to you and may this act as a reminder to be proud of your achievement, however long ago it was.
And to all non-university goers? Well kudos to you not having to ever deal with these bloody sashes and swarms of people walking in front of you as you try and get a photo that looks like you’re the only one at the university…. you guys kinda dodged a bullet.
Peace and love folks
Champers all round