I’VE FINALLY GRADUATED!!!
No one saw this day coming. Not even my parents. I never thought university was for me, in fact, I only applied just to see what the fuss was about. Actually, it was mainly because it was drilled in my head that in order for me to get somewhere in life, I would need a degree. Reality check: you don’t. Don’t get me wrong, university is a great experience and in some sense it does put you a step ahead everyone else. If you want to become a doctor or dentist, then yes, you definitely need a degree but for something like my course, I doubt it. I say this because other people had hyped up university so much that I was expecting a lot more.
I did end up learning a lot, gaining new skills and realising my strengths and weaknesses. But did I really need 3 years to complete a journalism degree? I calculated that if we exclude the long holiday breaks, the days we didn’t have class and the actual hours we spent in uni, in total, it would add up to somewhat just over a year (I think). I’m £56,000 in debt for a course that could’ve been done in a year. I considered dropping out many times, especially during second year but here I am now as a graduate feeling proud of myself with a hint of regret.
What you must know about graduations is that they’re like annual holidays. They were made for business purposes. See, you have to pay for each seat you reserve, the gown and hat you hire for a few hours and the photo you may end up locking up in a photo album. These are just the basic things that most people tend to spend their money on. Then there’s the additional stuff. There’s optional merchandise like teddy bears, hoodies etc. There’s the price of your outfit. I mean that’s if you want to look snazzy. There’s the stupid different photo frames that you could just purchase at TKMaxx. There’s a £6 delivery fee for the goddamn photo. If you’re travelling by car to the ceremony (like we did) then you can’t forget the expensive car park ticket you’re faced with after (14 f*cking pounds?!). There’s just so much to pay for and before you know it, you’ve paid a ridiculous price for an event that will last a few hours when you could’ve spent that on a holiday somewhere in Europe.
Ok let’s try to ignore the fact that you paid £9,000 a year and yet the university can’t throw in graduation as a complimentary gift. The actual ceremony itself isn’t that big of a deal if you REALLY think about it. Don’t underestimate the gowns, they’re heavy. I think I was the only person concerned with who’s head my hat had previously been on (fear of head lice). The fact that they call out everyone’s name one by one and you have to clap for every single person becomes boring after the first row of people have gone up. Oh let’s not forget that they call out the grades people got. Ok, they don’t technically call out your grade but if you got a 2:2 or below, you are called out first for receiving an honours. If you achieved 2:1 you’re basically just another sheep in the crowd. The students who received first class honours are literally called out as “first class honours, Suck My Toe Smith.” As if seeing them announce it on Facebook wasn’t enough. I’m not hating, I’m just…ugh…basically Marxism.
THERE IS NO FOOD SERVED AT THE CEREMONY. Are you f*cking kidding me?! They could’ve gone to Iceland (supermarket here in the UK) and just got a ton of those giant party packs but noooooo I’m paying £200 to eat air. Carry snacks in your bag because all that clapping somehow burns a ton of calories and you end up imaging the people on stage as food. Psht they offer champagne and orange juice instead. As if that could feed the fat kid inside me.
I just realised, I made this whole post sound as if I didn’t enjoy my graduation. I did. In fact, I had to keep holding back the tears because I felt so proud of myself. The girl who doesn’t enjoy studying, wanted to drop out, doesn’t ever feel smart enough, managed to get a 2:1. It felt like all my hard work had finally paid off. Channel 4 news presenter and talented journalist, Jon Snow gave an inspiring speech (fact: he’s obessed with Iran. Whoop whoop!) He reminded us that although the government created an institution to put us in debt, we shouldn’t allow this to be a form of regret and how we should always try to do volunteer work in order to help others. Pop culture icon, Sandi Toksvig gave a hilarious speech about women learning to always stand tall, beauty fades but our minds continue to grow and a Beethoven quote about thread which I can’t seem to remember, but it was a good one. Also, the traditions involved with a graduation like the gown and hat, the speeches given and the ceremony itself is something that I really enjoyed. I think traditions can often be beautiful things and this is one of them which isn’t carried out everywhere. My cousin in Iran just told me that they don’t hold a graduation ceremony for them there unless they’re receiving their PhD so I shouldn’t take it for granted.
University has it’s highs and lows. It can be overrated sometimes but it can also end up being better than you expected. I was told by my teachers in sixth form that you tend to make your “friends for life” at uni. After 3 years, I made friends, lost some of them who ended up continuously b*tching about me behind my back for the rest of the year (clearly it was their loss, not mine), and I think I walked out of university with only 2 friends but a handful of people that will probably just end up appearing on my timeline every now and then. University isn’t about the friends you make or the money you throw into it or how much you study. It’s about the experiences and skills you learn and what you choose to make of your future after it has ended. I think my future will always be slightly blurry but I’m proud of myself for taking this huge step towards it.
Blazer: Pull & Bear
Heels: Marks and Spencer