5 Things Nobody Tells You About Graduating University

  1. The robes are heavy. If it’s a hot day you might feel like you’re experiencing hell on earth. If you are stubborn and refuse to wear something with buttons because you have your heart set on a particular dress, you might have to pin the hood to your clothes, or to the gown, making it even more uncomfortable. The hat probably won’t fit on your head. The woman who fit it for me told me that ‘they’re not really meant to fit’.
  2. You will feel like an utter fool while having your photo taken, grinning wildly, wearing a silly hat, clutching a baton masquerading as a degree certificate, while being forced to point your head and body in unnatural directions. You might not like your photo, and unfortunately the whole set-up is based around shuttling people through and out as quickly as possible without upsetting them, so you might not have much time to umm and ahh about it.
  3. If you’re anything like me, it may be one of the most boring days of your life. Even though it’s exciting to graduate and receive your degree certificate, it’s nice to see your classmates, it makes your parents proud, it’s still very dull. If your name is early in the alphabet, you will be a ball of nerves until it is your turn, you will get on the stage and wonder if you have forgotten how to walk straight, and it will then be over in a flash while you wait for the rest of the alphabet to do exactly the same thing. If your name is late in the alphabet, you’re probably nervous for longer, at the same time as getting tired of hearing everybody’s names. Also: the chancellor probably won’t talk to you or shake your hand. If you’re like me, you probably won’t want them to, because you’ll be too busy trying to remember how to walk.
  4. The ceremony might seem a bit surreal after it has happened. Afterwards, I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had been there in the city hall, that my name had been called out and I had walked across the stage, that I had smiled at the chancellor and walked off stage and been handed my degree certificate. The idea of myself as a graduate of Hull University is still truly bizarre.
  5. You will look at job adverts and realise that, while a 2:1 degree does open a lot of doors, you need something extra. If you have something extra, well done. If you don’t, well, watch this space.

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