The me of a week ago was a frantic mess; how can I think of my science degree graduation when I’m neck-deep in honours assignments and work commitments? What will I wear?! What if I fall over?! Will the weather be okay? Should I wear heels?! WHAT WILL I WEAR?!!
Today (one awards ceremony and one graduation later) I am a much happier, calmer lady – and a graduate! The weather was fantastic, I didn’t face-plant it on stage, and yes, I did wear heels Three year’s work (give or take a few for some graduants) was celebrated in a sea of multi-coloured academic gowns (try not to: strangle yourself, sit on the person’s beside you, or channel your inner Harry Potter and use it as a dementor cape!), mortarboards (is it on the right way? It’s cutting off the blood-flow to my brain!!) and smiling students (or ex-students as the case is now for many). For those who have never experienced a university graduation, I have to say that it was far more interesting than I’d expected – here are my highlights:
- The entrance of the academic procession – loved the outfits!
- Our guest speaker, an exceptionally intelligent, hilarious and wise astronomer from Yorkshire (Professor Frederick Watson – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Watson) who spoke of the possibility of microorganisms from Mars creating a pandemic here on Earth (amongst other, slightly more relevant things)
- The ‘musical interlude’ which was a stunning Adele song performed by creative arts students
- Hearing the crazy shouts from family and friends as their loved ones received their testamurs on stage
- Shaking hands with the chancellor (she was SO friendly, despite my name being at the very end of a very longgg list)
USQ students are so fortunate to have the Japanese Gardens (which are actually the largest traditional gardens in Australia) on our doorstop – and my group made good use of them by sneaking of for a photo shoot after the ceremony (and after our fair share of delicious snacks and drinks; all that clapping is thirsty work!).
I’d like to quickly mention the unsung heroes of graduation… No, not the staff members who help us fix our academic gowns just before we walk on stage – though they are pretty darn important – or the car park traffic directors (it’s a hard job; I remember working last year – standing in a snazzy poncho in the rain trying to prevent car crashes whilst sending graduants in the right direction). I mean the PARENTS and FAMILIES – thank you SO MUCH for your support; you have stood beside us on our respective journeys, and (unless you can’t take the proof-reading of our assignments and cooking of our meals any longer and move to an exotic overseas island to escape) you will remain by our sides for a long time to come. What is more, you do AMAZING things – like making the delicious ice-cream graduation cake below
To my mum, Sandra – you deserve a degree yourself for putting up with three years of stressed-out me!
So, what now? It’s back to the assignments and work commitments, back to normal clothes and normal cakes. With any luck, I’ll be back in the Clive Berghofer Centre graduating from my honours degree next year – bring it on!!
Want to see what some other USQ graduands have to say? Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnIO4JkpaF0&list=UUp0ShvPUKqiKvfj40bexawg&index=3!