Today marks exactly a year since graduation. This realisation that I had past midnight brought out every bit of nostalgia in me. There is a colossal amount of things that I want to write about graduation, so in putting my thoughts in coherence, here is a commemorative post of graduation.
(Also, where did the time went?? I can hardly believe that it has been a year WHAAAAAAT!)
It’s summer in the United Kingdom.
July, an eventful month for most universities across the country.
Graduation banners are being hung up.
Canopies are built to host pre-ceremony and post-ceremony events.
Halls and cathedrals are cleaned up for the Big Day.
Gown and mortar board orders are placed, along with photoshoots.
University grounds are filled with families of students, touring the campus to see where their graduates-to-be spent their lives at in the past year(s).
The Big Day is here.
The ladies fuss to pair their best dress with the perfect pair of heels, hairstyle and makeup.
The guys make sure their best suits are freshly pressed, their shoes shined and their hair styled nicely.
Time to put on the graduation gown and mortar board.
You feel the bursting pride in you while as you the gown is donned.
Take numerous photos; after all, it is your big day.
The graduation venue is filling up.
Families are ushered to their respective seats, setting up cameras to capture the grand moment.
Graduates-to-be trotted to be seated with the rest of their peers.
Procession takes place and speeches are given to address the graduation ceremony.
Feel the adrenaline rush as you stand in line, waiting for your name to be called to be presented with your scroll by the Dean.
The brief 30-seconds on stage as you shook hands with the Dean and received your scroll has got to be a 30-seconds memory of a lifetime.
You return to your seat, still overwhelmed by it all.
You look at your certificates, see your name printed on each one of them.
You smile at yourself in awe and said,
“I made it.”
I think at one point last year I actually forgotten the point of graduation, the main one.
It is not about making your parents, family and friends proud; on top of it all, the whole point is the mark of your own achievement and hard work. Without your own effort, you would not have gotten this far. What other people, be it whoever, gave you is nothing but support and advice; that’s like a bonus and a safety net. But otherwise, it is all on your own that you have come this far. We get too caught up in impressing ourselves and pushing our limits that we often forget that it is something that we do for ourselves.
Graduation is something that you should most definitely look forward to. It is one of the biggest milestones thus far in your life on the face of this planet, before the whole land-a-job-with-decent-pay / first-pay-raise / get-married / start-a-family kind of milestones, that you are bound to achieve in due time. Graduation is that big day for you to celebrate your achievements (mind you, achievements are subjective; it encompasses more than just the academic ones). One day when you look back to one of the greatest days in your lifetime, you would remember how far you have made it through, and that should be enough to push you through whatever else that you are faced with.
Almost always, we’d feel like we are heading nowhere in life. But you know what they say: you really are doing better than you think! All of us, including our peers alike, are all on the same boat. Yes, some may appear more calm and it seems like they have their lives figured out. And there will be those who seem like a total mess without any plans for their next big step in life. But that is all on the surface. Not every one of us gets the privilege of having an insight to someone else’s life to see how they are repairing the cracks on the pathway or laying a new one instead; we are equal with our peers, and we are faced with challenges in varying circumstances.
Who isn’t afraid of stepping into adulthood? Ask that to a room full of young people and I am certain that almost everyone would raise their hands in agreement. It is an inevitable, part-and-parcel stage of growing up and life. Everything in life is uncertain and temporary (well, at least most things are) in our 20s. We are really just getting started with our lives. I think the scariest part is not exactly on the part of getting everything figured out; the part that I am most afraid of (and still am) is the transition from schooling life to actual life.
We are so comfortable in our nice, little security bubble for the longest period thus far – teachers and lecturers were there to guide us through the way, friends who are nice and easy on us, the fact that we have a concrete and uninterrupted plan for about 17-18 years in getting education. Aaaand we get thrown out into the world right after that, expected to get everything done by ourselves. This bit stresses me out the most, but hey, 1) everyone goes through it at some point in their lifetime 2) remember that it is an inevitable part and parcel of life.
Here’s to friends who battled through final year of law school with me.
Exploring the city together in our first week, frequent home-cooked dinners, movie nights in Vine Court over winter break (which made us bust our asses two weeks before assignments submission was due HAHAHA), our first birthdays and festive seasons abroad, late night study sessions in the library, supper at Nabzy’s down Leece Street… the list is endless. I can never thank each of you enough for the impact that you made in my life. Thanks for being my family 7000 miles away from home.
Most importantly, here’s to my family. Mum and Dad, thanks for the privilege to spend a year abroad to complete my studies. I am eternally grateful that I have such a wonderful privilege, to come home with a changed perspective and a growth in character.
Lambs, you are the best companion over the built-in webcam on the Internet throughout my year in Liverpool. Thanks for nonchalant talks, late night crying sessions and Skype calls from the library. You are the best cheerleader in my life, celebrating every little success along the way with me (and to a certain extent, for me!). For the record, your brimming enthusiasm in the things that I do helped me in my toughest days.
This stroll down memory lane is getting me overwhelmed. I think I have a huge delay of emotions about graduating (yes, I was a tad emotionless last year during graduation), but now looking back at the past year, I am definitely getting a bit weepy.
To my friends who are graduating / have graduated this year, congratulations and have a happy graduation! x
[EDITED] Kudos to my awesome sister for being my slave of the day last year and for capturing the best moments of my graduation, lugging along your tripod and camera all over the campus grounds and to Albert Dock. Love you, lambs ❤ (Sorry that it slipped out of my mind for a bit, fats; got too carried away in dealing with my emotions HAHAHAHA).