Saturday, 16 July 2011

where were you when?

There are many events in history where people go where were you when? 9/11 happened, Diana died etc etc. One of those events happened this week. I can picture it now, twenty years time a young girl turns to her dad and asks "Where were you when they released the last ever harry potter film?" Let me tell you where I was.

I was in a restaurant drinking wine and celebrating my graduation. On July 14th after four long years of studying lots of journalism-related things and lots of not so journalism related things I finally got to put on my gown, walk across the stage and claim my award. Which is, by the way, printed on very fancy paper with gold leaf. I am going to put it on my fridge with a magnet which says "sometimes I think I know everything, then I wake up," so if you ever want to see it come round for a cuppa.

Anyway, back to graduation. Graduation is quite a nerve wracking day, it has been a long time coming and after it, you are not a student anymore. Ahhh, no more discounts, no more free council tax, no more all day lie-ins and most importantly no more mid week drinking sessions. So really it is a momentous occasion. In fact, one of the many speeches at graduation described us as now being experts in our fields, which is quite a scary thought. They also asked us what difference were we going to make in the world? Heavy stuff for half past two on a Thursday. But speeches aside the big moment at graduation is when you walk across the stage.

I had watched about six classes before mine graduate. I think I had it down, you walk on stage, they bop you on the head put your hood on, shake your hand then you walk across the stage. I was so prepared. However, standing side of stage I was overcome with cold panic. Looking back I am not really sure why, I mean it is not like I was going to forget how to walk and just crumble on stage, and I am fairly sure my underwear, tights, dress and gown were not going to fall off and I was not going to walk across the stage naked. But despite this, I was so nervous I thought I was going to be sick, possibly even be sick on the university chancellor. So why, I hear you wonder, was I so worried? It is the dreaded graduation day fall. It haunts every graduate. What if I get half way across the stage and I fall, flat on my face. And then what, well everyone will laugh, and say things like "How did she get a degree? She cant even walk without falling."

But despite this fear of The Fall, I got across the stage, and thanks to the wonderful people in my life I was greeted by a riotous cheer. I did not vomit, I remembered how to walk and all of my clothes stayed on. All in all it was a success!

After this we took lots of pictures drank lots of wine and celebrated. Graduation is quite an overwhelming day, and most people who have been through it would agree. I think when you do to university you never think of what happens afterwards. But here I am, it is not afterwards and I am feeling pretty good. I don't regret going to uni for a moment. I have met some truly amazing people, many of whom I hope will be life long friends. And now, as I sit post graduation looking back with a tinge of sadness that it is over, I cant help but think of the words from one of my favorite books, "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they are yours." And with that note, to all my fellow graduates I wish you all the best in life and that  the most you ever wanted will be the least you ever have. And hopefully I will be there with you to share your successes.


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