I am now, officially, Tara Knight BSc (Hons). Last Friday, I graduated in BSc Geography, and in a way, I think it’s finally hit me that I’m not going back to uni in September. (Who knows if I’ll go back to uni, but it might not be Aberystwyth!)
Although my ceremony was on the Friday afternoon, my parents and I travelled across to Aberystwyth on the Thursday morning so that I would be able to go to Alex’s graduation (Thursday afternoon).
Having arrived and eaten lunch, I had a little bit of time to see Alex before he went to his rehearsal, and before I went to get feedback on my dissertation. He gave me my ticket so that I had it, and I told him to put his mortar board back on.
It was really lovely to see Alex graduate, and I’m definitely glad I made it. There’s something about seeing your husband-to-be walk across the stage, and officially become an Aber alumni. The only other graduation ceremony I’ve seen was my mum’s, and I was about 8 so I can’t really remember that much.
In the evening, my parents, Alex’s parents, Alex and I all went out for a meal to celebrate our graduations (even if mine hadn’t happened yet!) It also gave me a chance to update his parents about wedding things as I know Alex is rubbish at telling them.
Friday morning, 5am. I woke up at the B&B where we were staying because another guest was getting ready to leave, and they weren’t doing so quietly. 5.40am. I woke up again, the guest was still being noisy. 6.30am. I gave up trying to go back to sleep and started to get ready.
Breakfast was at 7:15 as we wanted to leave the B&B by 8, so that we could be in Aber by half 8 (the earliest time that I could pick up my robes). Although I didn’t graduate until the afternoon, I felt like I had to get everything done in the morning so that I wasn’t left having to queue for things when I wanted to relax. By 9am, I’d picked up my robes, put them on and had all the professional photography done.
A lot of the day was then spent, aimlessly sitting around. The Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES) hosted a reception at 10, that I went along to for half an hour, before leaving so that I could register.
I think I was a mixture of emotions all day. There was definitely some excitement and nerves, as well as nostalgia (and probably a whole load more that I just can’t identify). I wanted to get it over and done with, yet at the same time I didn’t. Graduating means that my time at Aber has finished and that now, I have to go out into the big wide world and actually be an adult. A proper one. Especially as I’m going to be a Teaching Assistant and will actually be looking after children.
Even throughout the ceremony I was nervous, and just wanted to walk across the stage. Luckily, I was in the first half – I don’t think I’d have wanted to wait until after the musical interlude. As Alex was singing, as part of the Elizabethan Madrigal Singers, it meant that he was able to pop into the ceremony and watch me graduate without having to sit through the whole thing. As I went down to the stage from where I was sitting, I was able to see him just before I had to walk across. My main worry at this point was as to whether I’d be able to walk up the steps on to the stage without falling over in my heels and breaking my ankle. (I managed it – the only injuries I have are blisters from two different pairs of shoes). The Madrigal Singers even cheered for me as my name was called. I shook the Vice-Chancellor’s hand (and she said Congratulations, and added a comment about my fan club) and then it was done. I made it off the stage (safely) and could then sit down, and not worry about anything. I’d graduated.
After the ceremony, the whole department had their photo on La Scala (this large concrete step structure thing), and then we could socialise with the lecturers etc. I also had to go and collect my certificate from the library and return my robes.
Graduation was over. After saying goodbye to Alex, my parents and I headed home and I could finally get into bed (which felt so nice for my poor, blistered feet). It had been a long two days, but definitely worth it. I feel like I’m at a loss now, because I know I’ve finished. Graduation was the last stage, and that’s been checked off now. I’d got settled at uni, and I knewexactly what to expect. I think knowing that I won’t be going back to that routine makes me somewwat apprehensive. However, I am looking forward to the future though, and what it’ll bring!
All photos used were taken by Alex’s dad, unless stated otherwise 🙂