My Graduation Experience from The University of Lincoln, 2022
Ellen Reed - University of Lincoln Graduate 2022
Tuesday April 26th saw me graduate from the University of Lincoln with an Events Management degree, and it was one of the best days of my life! Graduation is an important part of every student’s life because it acknowledges your achievement; I know it personally was for me. During those long nights where I would be up to see the day light breaking, finishing off my assignments; envisioning my graduation day was the one thing that motivated me to push through the challenges that university brings. So, after a delay because of COVID, I was so pleased to finally be there.
My graduation was at 10:00am, meaning I had to be up early to be ready for the day, 5:30am to be exact! I had to be at Lincoln Castle for 8:00am for gown collection and ticket collection. When you pick up your gown, there are people there to help fit your graduation attire and even though I had to get a bigger hat, for my apparently massive head (probably from all the information my brain has taken in from my studies), everything fitted perfectly! Wearing my gown was special as it was a ‘pinch me’ moment, knowing that I had achieved my degree, and finally it was time to celebrate that achievement.
Next was my favourite part of the day which was finally seeing my friends who I had not seen in nearly a year and finding out what they are all up to post-university! After much needed catch ups, we headed in to take our seats for the ceremony.
I am fortunate enough to say that my graduation was held in Lincoln Cathedral, which not many people can say they graduated in such a beautiful setting, never mind a cathedral! It is arguably the most picture-perfect venue for a graduation. I was lucky enough to be sat at the very front, so I had a full view of the beautiful structure in front of me. However, much to my surprise, this meant that I had to walk the full length of the cathedral, circle back round, then up onto the stage, which had I known sooner, I most likely would not have chosen the heels that I did for the day!
Before you go up on stage there were two stewards to help you neaten up your gown to ensure you looked presentable. This came as a great relief since mine was completely lop sided on the nervous walk up to the stage as I was fully focused on not falling rather than the position of my gown. Although I did manage not to stack it or wobble in my shoes, so I am happy with that part at least!
Going up on stage felt like a big blur, the graduands were given clear instructions of protocol for their moment on the stage, this being to bow your hat, specifically with your right hand and then shake the vice chancellors hand after. So even though my nerves were building up beforehand, my complete focus was on not messing up my all-important 5 seconds on the stage. One of the best parts of the day was having my name called, it is a strange moment but walking up the stairs and heading down as a graduate knowing that I did it and came out on the other side was such a surreal experience. Before I knew it, I was sat back down in my seat and clapping the other graduates as they had their moment on stage.
After the ceremony there was time spent in the castle grounds where there were celebrations taking place, including a bar! This was the time where everybody got their photos and had the vital ‘hat throwing’ moment! The rest of the day was spent celebrating alongside family and friends with lots of lovely food and drink.
The feeling after graduation, however, is bittersweet. I am proud of my friends and myself for getting through the tough times at university, but I will miss the community and the social aspect of being a student.
My graduation is a day I will never forget! I genuinely had such an incredible, special day and I am sad to say it is all over!
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