Good morning bloggers and readers! For any of you that are friends with me on Facebook or following me on Twitter will know that last week I celebrated the end of my academic career and graduated from Anglia Ruskin University. I somehow managed to achieve a 2.2 overall honours degree in Business Management.
Ever since I got my last exam result, I have been waiting for this day to celebrate graduating with the friends that I have had the pleasure of meeting over the past three years. So here is the account of what happened throughout this momentous occasion.
After taking the early shift at work, I headed on my way to Cambridge to collect my gown - with a quick detour to The Bakers to meet up with the Wiggs/ Barnes clan for a touch of dutch courage before heading over to Kelsey Kerridge. It was good to catch up with the newlyweds soon after getting married and how everyone has been.
After that, we slowly made our way towards Kelsey Kerridge in the cold and rainy conditions, I was half expecting there to be a huge queue to get our gowns but surprisingly we were among the first ones there, so me and my friend Stacey got all gowned up, picture of me in my graduation gown is below:
The first time I looked at myself in the mirror with my graduation gown and hat on, my first thoughts were, "Oh my god! I look like a Hogwarts professor!" After I got my gown on, I went and got my official graduation picture taken, the pictures prices were stupidly expensiv - but what the hell, it will be the one time I get to do this so it was worth it. I also managed to bump into my friends Mark, Jeanine and James whilst there looking at merchandise. I decided to go on a spending spree and pay for a copy of the DVD ceremony, a personalised "class of 2013" hoodie and signed up for the alumni network.
After finally leaving the sports centre - Me, Mark and Stacey headed along Parkers Piece to take more pictures of us in all of our gear and got pictures in the usual graduation position, by the University Arms Hotel even if it was cloudy. My family didn't arrive in Cambridge until the graduation ceremony, so I spent all of the day with Stacey and her family, it was so nice to see her family there to celebrate her accomplishment.
We went for a pre-graduation dinner to help me and Stacey calm the nerves we had as the minutes ticked down. It was a very nice dinner as it always is at Nandos, but it didn't help calm my nerves as I kept looking my watch. Then....
... Mine and Stacey's friend Luke entered Nandos to congratulate us and warn us on what we are to expect (Unfortunately, Luke studied a different course to me & Stacey even though we stuck together the past three years and basically had the same modules we had different ceremony times which indeed sucked!) However, we did manage to get pictures of us three together for the first time in our entire time while at university which we have failed to do.
Me and Stacey eventually head on our way to the Cambridge Corn Exchange to take our seats for the ceremony. The head people of the university and some of our more important lecturers entered the hall and took a seat onstage, then the vice chancellor took a long-looooooooooooong time to sell to the guests of the ceremony that Anglia Ruskin was the place to be.
Eventually we got around to the moment we had all been waiting for - getting announced as graduates. The heart-beat started to race as my row was called up, seeing my friends go up before me I felt so proud of them - when my time came I was really worried that I would fall and embarrass myself in fornt of everyone but I didn't thankfully - I heard a nice "Woo!" from the crowd from my friends and family in the stands. Then.... a moment of drama!
A student decided to take it upon herself to whip out a "ARU sucks banner" out before being carried out by security. Everyone was shocked watching in awe of this - I was hoping that would be kept in the recording on the dvd ha! After everyone had gone up and shaked the vice-chancellor's hand - we were told to stand up and were congratulated on the achievements we had accomplished in the three years we had been at Anglia Ruskin.
After the emotion of graduating, mine and Stacey's families headed to Anglia Ruskin to get our celebratory drinks and more pictures! Unfortunately didn't see any other people at the university - so me and Stacey proceeded with the tradition that is the hat throwing! I managed to get pictures with my family which was a rare occasion to see them for me and congratulating me graduating.
After handing in my gown and saying my goodbyes to the Wigg/ Barnes clan, it finally sunk in - I have graduated! I got a tad emotional knowing the adventure that the last three years have been and realising I couldn't have got to this point without the friends I made along the way:
You guys are so special to me and you have helped alot more than you may have thought - thanks to you all I have become a more confident person in myself and my abilities, I have learnt alot over the highs and lows of the past three years. I have become a much more supportive friend and I have grown up learning from my mistakes, without each and everyone of you - I couldn't achieved what I have done and got to this moment in my life without you.
My academic career for now is at an end, a chapter of my life that I put to a close - a new one begins.. I'm ready for the challenge ahead :)