Last week I had to skip out of the Step Up summer school early because I had to go to graduation! I am now a graduate from Cardiff University, pretty crazy to say! I still can’t quite believe it. These past three years have absolutely flown by, I can still remember my first day as if it were yesterday.
Turning up to Colum Hall, I had no idea what to expect – being the eldest in the family has its disadvantages sometimes! My parents came up with me and helped me unpack my stuff, then that was it. My flat was doubly strange to start with because only three out of eight people turned up, so it was very quiet! This forced us three to mingle even more, and we eventually found the party in one of the upstairs flats, where the rest of the house had congregated. Compared to Talybont, Colum Hall was very small, there were only eight flats of eight in each building, and only two buildings. Despite this small pool, and perhaps because of it, we all banded together and had a great time during freshers!
The rest of that first year was filled with parties, pizza – and some studying too. For most university courses, the first year doesn’t count towards the final grade, to make sure everyone is at the same level. This however leads to a lot of people going a bit crazy, living away from home for the first time and not really having anyone to tell you what to do. As well as meeting so many new people, there were so many opportunities, from going kickboxing to joining the Harry Potter society.
The actual graduation ceremony lasted about 2 hours, but for me at least it seemed to go quite quickly! We went to City Hall first to collect our caps and gowns, which you pre-book. Then everyone poses for lots of pictures on the grass! Luckily my graduation was in the afternoon, so I didn’t have to get up too early, and it wasn’t too much of a rush! The ceremony was in St David’s Hall in town, so we walked down there. Inside we sat in alphabetical order, in groups of BA, Masters and a few hard-working PhD students! There were a few introductory talks and then we filed up, a guy read out our name (pronouncing it wrongly in my case, but oh well!), then we shook hands, and walked off. It all went very smoothly and thankfully I didn’t trip up!
My parents and my grandparents had come to watch, coming up from Cornwall and Devon respectively, so we went out for a fancy dinner, and had plenty of prosecco! It was a really special day and finally made it feel real that I’d finished university! I’m so glad I’m working in the office otherwise I might be a bit glum that it was all over! But as it is, I’m still living in Cardiff, in a slightly grotty house, and most of my friends are still around – so not much has changed really!