Thursday 19 July 2018

My Graduation | 2017

It's been one year since I sass walked across the stage at Portsmouth Guildhall and became an official graduate of the University of Portsmouth.

 Graduation is supposed to be a happy day, where your parents get to see your friends and a little bit of your life at university.

For me, it was stressful. My graduation was at 1pm so I had plenty of time to get ready in the morning - except my staple eyeliner had run out and I couldn't find any nude tights because I messed up the fake tan on the legs a few days before. I had to run into town and pick up said items and run back.

It was the first time in my life that I was doing a full face of makeup and doing my hair, I wanted to look my best for all of the photos with my family and Connor.

In hindsight, I should've hair-sprayed my loose curls more as the wind brushed most of them out. It just had to be rubbish weather on my graduation day!

Once me and my family got some professional photos taken we met up with Connor's family just before the ceremony.

Also, no one tells you how awful the cap and gown are to wear. The cap is constantly moving even when hair-gripped into place, and the gown just wanted to kill me, and the hood was always slipping and making you look scruffy.

I didn't know what to do with my stuff for when I would sit down during the ceremony, so I only took my purse which could fit my phone in. I didn't really have any female friends that I could get some help with on that topic, so I was frantically looking around the graduates to see what other females were doing. I contemplated taking my phone with me and placing it in my tights - I quickly thought that was a bad idea as knowing my luck my phone would start sliding down the tights as I would walk across the stage in front of everyone. In the end, I opted to leave my things beneath my chair and hope that no one would steal them during the ten minutes I was away from my seat.

When they call your row to make your way backstage it all starts to feel very real. There are last-minute helpers to adjust your gown and cap in case they've gone wonky since the last time you checked. At this point, you're still in an alphabetical queue moving towards the stage. My heart was almost beating out of my chest as I started to see the stage, Sandi Toksvig (my Vice Chancellor at the time) and my lecturers seated on stage. I kept telling myself to not trip, smile and try to have a quick glance at where my family were seated.

It's all over in a matter of seconds. You can go back to your seat and never have to worry about walking across that stage again.

The worst part of graduation for me was that I wasn't sat near anyone I got on with in my class, so effectively on my own. I had to listen to the student speaker about looking around to my peers and the journey we've had together. The guy I was sat next to didn't even have the courtesy to say hello back to me when I sat down. That just about summed up my relationship with my peers. I zoned out of the extremely peppy speech. She wasn't talking about my university experience, and I also didn't want to cry and mourn the loss of the experience I could've had, thank you very much.
Connor was my rock throughout university, the fact that we both did the same course meant we knew exactly what the other was going through. Thank you, Connor, for your blunt honesty, and occasionally being really sweet and helping get to the other side, I love you.

The best part of the day for me was having mine and Connor's family together for the day, and having photo's taken to capture the memories. It's something that doesn't happen very often and I treasured it. Considering my own family is rather small, and I had lost some family members whilst at university, it's important to me to make the most of special occassions.

One huge piece of advice I have is...TAKE AS MANY PHOTOS, VIDEOS AND BOOMERANGS AS PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE. I was so stressed and caught up in the day I didn't even realise I missed out on some great photo opportunities. For one I don't have a single outfit shot of just me on my own. I'm gutted. After all the searching for my outfit and deliberating I didn't have one single full body photo on my own.

Oh, and girls, always trial hair and makeup in advance. And don't fake tan for the first time a few days before graduation if you plan to have your legs out. You are welcome.

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