Graduated and educated
I graduated on Thursday Morning.
I really did not want to go to graduation. There were many reasons for this. Foremost, I have social anxiety and the idea of being around so many people and walking on stage, and all the attention. No. Just no. Also, graduation seemed expensive. £45 to hire a gown and cap. More money to get my family up to Warwick. Buying pictures and a dress. Way too much money. However, my family were adamant that they see the moment. Therefore, I decided to attend a celebration for them.
I am very glad that I went. I walked into Butterworth Hall in my robe at around 10:15. Fortunately, I was sandwiched between two good friends on my course. We were anxious and excited together. There was a buzz of noise; students and family talking, and then silence. The chamber choir started singing and wow. I am not exaggerating when I say that I was mesmerised. Their singing was soft and perfect. I was impressed by their confidence and coordination.
At 11:00, the ceremony started. The chamber choir and brass quintet played the Warwick Fanfare and the academics and chancellor started to walk in their coloured robes. Some people had particularly funny hats and there many different colours of robes. We had to stand, and I was so confused – I have never been to a graduation – but intrigued. It had such a Hogwarts feel.
When we were seated, I watched other people on my course graduate. I cheered and clapped along with the audience, so proud of my friends and acquaintances. The people who I had struggled alongside. Some of the people who did not think that they would make it, and there they were graduating. I was so proud. There were Ph.D. students whose experiments I took part in, who I had seen around, and they were making the end of their journeys and becoming doctors.
Then, it was my time. My name was called I walked up on stage. I feared falling, so I walked slowly. I was abashed by the attention, so I stared at the ground. First, I shared hands with the Chancellor, and then I received my degree.
And that was it. A perfect ending to stress and calamity of my degree.
I am glad that I went. I never fully acknowledged just how impressive it is that I made it through these three years. I worked hard. I really wanted to take a temporary withdraw at times. I wanted to give up. But I made it through and being at graduation made me appreciate just how much I achieved.