2012, 20th, actress, brother, central london, certificate, Doctor Who, eating, family, friends, graduation, Harry Potter, hours, I finally graduated, lecturers, London, look-a-like, name, November, once in a lifetime, parents, photo, pins, professional photo, River Song, robe, robes, rows, Royal Festival Hall, stage, style, teachers, train, transportation, wand
As strange as it sounds, my university graduation happened in November when usually other universities have it in June/July.
I’m not sure as to the reasons why, but I’m glad it’s later on. I have a few friends who (due to motherhood and family illnesses) had extensions on their deadlines which meant that they didn’t finish studying till July whilst the rest of us were done in May. I’m happy those friends weren’t left behind since there could have been separate grad ceremonies for us 😀
The ceremony was for 12:30 and I had to be there for 11:00am since I needed to collect my gown and ticket. I had everything ready the day before and thought ‘There’s less chance of things going wrong tomorrow‘. I say ‘less chance‘ because things always go wrong, for me anyway!
My phone was away for repairs, but I thought I could count on my brothers HTC phone as a camera and for calling. Only later did I realise that by not having my phone that the root of the trouble that was yet to come was exactly that!
When we got there the place was packed! I left my parents and brother in the canteen and managed to get my ticket and queued to collect my robe. The robe was fine and so was the separate ‘hoodie’ piece but, just as I feared, my hat (mortarboard) was too big.
So I joined another queue to get that fixed. I was finally served by an old man who very critically looked at my head from different angles and one by one, placed different hats on my head saying things like “Oh this won’t do…this isn’t the one….let’s try this one“That’s when I said “I feel like Harry Potter when he went to buy his wand!” The man laughed and just then, placed the right one on my head. Job done!
Whilst wondering around I bumped into my friends and mingled till we were called in for the ceremony to begin. Just before going in, I found my family and gave them their tickets. Only then did I see that they had seats on the 6th floor and mine was on the 3rd.
I was seated in the second row and was one of the first people to go up. When they called out my name, I walked went up and tried to make eye contact with all my lecturers seated on stage and the River Song look-a-like in front of me whose hand I had to shake (those who watch Doctor Who will know who I’m talking about).
But as I walked across the stage, my long dress got caught between my legs and I wobbled on my heels; I looked at the floor, clutched my dress and pulled it up slightly as I continued walking. This meant that by the time I looked back up and got to the ‘River Song’ lady, it was too late to put out my hand for a handshake, so my smile had to suffice as I tried my best to walk without falling till I left the stage ¬_¬
After 1.5 hrs the ceremony was over and I went to hunt my family. But since I didn’t have my phone, I couldn’t call my brother and I didn’t know where they were. So I spent 15-20mins waiting next to stair cases and lift doors, hoping I would find them. Eventually we found each other and had to queue for the professional photos. That took another 1.5 hrs and we were all hungry and tired. After that we gathered what energy we had left to take photos and meet a few more of my friends. Which had to be done asap as my brother’s phone battery was low (oh the agony of not having ones own camera/phone!)
Considering my folks both have arthritis and are diabetic, they were soooo patient and helped me out as much as they could. Ma, abba, you two are the best! ❤