Winter usually sees me abandoning all hope of dressing nicely and throwing on jeans and a hoodie every day to keep warm – however, last Wednesday I had an excuse to dress up as it was the first day of Winter Graduation!
A lot of undergraduates don’t realise that there are other graduation ceremonies apart from those taking place in July. However, nearly all postgraduate students graduate in January in the Winter Graduation rather than the summer. This is because postgraduate courses usually work differently to undergraduate courses – instead of the academic year running from September/October to June, it usually runs from September – September. So whilst all the undergraduates have their ceremonies in the summer, the postgraduates are still working away hard at their deadlines!
I had no idea of any of this either until recently, but my boyfriend has just graduated from his Masters, and I got to go along!
I’d never been to a graduation of any kind before, so it was all a totally new experience for me. The Arts Centre was FULL of students all dressed up in their robes so it was a really lively atmosphere. The actual ceremony itself was really interesting to see/hear all of the different degrees which people had studied, and involved so much clapping I was exhausted by the end of it. Everyone was encouraged to make as much noise as they could to celebrate everyone’s achievement so even though it was a really formal event it was good fun too.
I also learnt that there are are A LOT of different robe variations. The only thing that differs between undergraduates is the colour of their robes, but at postgraduate, they change colour and design – and anyone graduating from a PhD had a different hat too (which to me, made them look a bit like they were working in a re-enactment role at an old stately home…). All of the heads of faculties and departments were also all dressed in their robes, so just about every colour of the rainbow was featured there.
And of course, we had to follow up the ceremony by going for a celebratory lunch…
It was a very proud day for me and definitely made a change from my usual Wednesday routine! And it also got me thinking that I’ll be set to graduate in only a year and a half!