Why graduation is so underrated and overrated


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.

Since I spoke too much, I will end on some photos from today. I’ve also posted my outfit details below as well:
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I’m doing the exact same pose in all three photos. Creative Lola, very creative.

Outfit details: 
Blazer: Pull & Bear
Top: Primark
Trousers: Zara
Heels: Marks and Spencer
Necklace: Aldo

Lola x


The Trench Coat

I finally managed to edit the photos from the October/November shoot I did with my friends Yasmin Harding and Phillip McGee. The inspiration behind it came from my love for the classic Burberry trench coats but obviously, a student budget can probably only get me a button so the replacements we found will do.
Outfit Details:

Dress: Asos
Trench Coat: H&M
Boots: H&M
Necklace: Accessorize
Big Gold Ring: Primark
Yellow Stone Ring: Iran
Watch: Rolex

Jumper: Topshop
Trench Coat: Drop Dead
Khaki Chinos: Zara
Loafers: Yasmin’s own
Ring: Yasmin’s own

Shirt: Phillip’s own
Trench Coat: Asos
Khaki Chinos: Asos
Shoes: Phillip’s own

Photos by: Ava Cheraghi, Yasmin Harding and a few by Phillip McGee

Instagram: @loladelrey_
Twitter: @loladelrey
Email: lolaadelrey@gmail.com

Thank you to Yas, Phil and Ava for the shoot!

Lola x

Festival season: Jumpsuits

Obviously with it now being festival season, I think one of the most effortless pieces which you can wear to a festival is a romper/jumpsuit/playsuit. There are many names for a ‘romper’ and I just refer to them as jumpsuits. Firstly, they are great because they aren’t a skirt or a dress although they sometimes tend to look like one, when you know your going to be dancing around all day/weekend you want to be comfortable and not have to worry about a skirt/dress rising or being too short etc. That being said they usually are very comfortable obviously depending on the size and fit you go for.

Jumpsuits come in many patterns/colours/styles to suit absolutely everyone. H&M are selling some really cute affordable ones at the moment in loads of different colours and patterns. I think jumpsuits are really flattering on every size because they pull you in at the waist, well most do anyway, the denim ones are usually worn as overalls. I especially love patterned ones like the first picture but also black and white ones with lace detailing which also work great as a night out outfit which I have worn myself.

If you are going to any festivals this year like Wireless etc and are stuck in a rut about what to possible wear then I suggest you start looking for one of these beauties, they work every time and look great with jackets and cardigans/jumpers layered over them. I think they look really cute with wellies and socks too which is what a lot of girls tend to wear at festivals. Here is some inspiration:

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I will be doing a post also on the hottest accessories to wear this summer, so keep an eye out for that!

Jess Penfold

Street style!

Now, our street styles won’t always include people dressed pretty much head to toe in black but whenever I see someone wearing all black and its been styled well I get really excited! This girl caught my eye as she was walking through Brick lane and we ran after her to get a picture. If myself and Lola see you on the street and we like your choice of outfit/style we will do anything it takes to try and get a picture, only with permission of course. I love this girls choice of accessories with the oversized sunglasses and statement clutch bag. The platform sandals are from Zara and I really like the gold detailing on them, it makes the outfit pop. The long black chiffon kimono looks stunning in contrast with the black rolled up skinny jeans and black oversized tee. I think even the way she has chosen to wear red lipstick just completes the whole look, LOVE THIS OUTFIT.


Jess Penfold


Street style!

I love that this girl is wearing all black except for the pleated skirt. The day we took this picture it was scorching outside so her choice of clothing here confirms that it is possible to wear black throughout summer. I love that she has chosen to wear mesh socks with sandals, which is very on trend as you may have read about in mine and Lola’s previous trending tuesdays/throwback thursday posts.

The backpack which she is wearing on one arm and the black sunglasses keeps the outfit looking cute and gives the whole look a ‘st trinians’ vibe, whenever I see girls wearing pleated skirts I just think of being back in school and having to wear a uniform, however I’m not complaining and I think look great on!

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Jess Penfold

Street style: Adidas x Stan Smith

When I saw that this guy was wearing Adidas trainers I knew we had to get a picture. His outfit is really casual, sporting a simple black tee and tan shorts, but what really caught my attention was what he was wearing on his feet. When Adidas released their collaboration collection with Stan Smith, fashion bloggers around the world went crazy for these babies.  I instantly recognised them and had to compliment them, I myself have a pair of Adidas superstar trainers as I felt these were more me however I think the Stan Smith ones look great on guys and I’ve seen some bloggers wear them really well. Kanye West was also recently spotted wearing these exact trainers and that says something because Kanye knows what he is talking about when it comes to fashion. Not only that but Kanye is collaborating with Adidas and I’m very intrigued as to what the collection will be like. He’s definitely playing it cool with the black shades and his bag is the perfect accessory alongside his casual outfit for some shopping in Shoreditch.
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What do you think of this outfit?


Jess Penfold