Graduation Day

Graduating BA student Danielle writes about her experience of Graduation Day.

The lead-up to graduation was like the lead-up to most things for me – stressful. Trust me to leave things to the last minute, I decided to pre-purchase my gown and hood and then spent a number of sleepless nights on the Australia Post website hoping it would arrive in time. Thankfully the package arrived the day before!

For graduating Arts students, there were ceremonies at 11am and 6pm. As I was in the 6pm ceremony, my family started the afternoon by taking the always necessary photos at uni in Old Quad and on South Lawn.

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The day took a turn when my Mum broke both her shoes, leading to a barefoot run to Lygon St to buy a new pair while Dad and I continued to the Royal Exhibition Building to register. I’d already paid the $70 ceremony fee over the phone and didn’t need to hire my regalia so it was a really easy process.

Now I could relax a little! I met up with some of my friends, and we took photos in all of the important spots outside the REB (you know, outside the building, in front of the fountain…) At 4.45, doors opened for guests to take their seats (first in, best dressed!) so once I parted with my family, my friends and I headed inside to find our seats. Everything is very formal and there’s a specific order so it’s important that you sit in the right spot!

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The REB is a beautiful building and I spent awhile absentmindedly staring upwards. Let me tell you, it’s a long ceremony – there were speeches by a special guest and the valedictorian, as well as all of those names to read out. I bonded with the girl I was sitting next to over our nerves, hoping we wouldn’t somehow trip on our way up.

When it’s nearly your turn, you get called up into the line and assistants fix your regalia (turns out mine was all wrong and took awhile to fix!) Then your name is called, you shake the Dean/Chancellor’s hand and get a photo holding your degree. You then walk back to your seat and settle in to listen to more names (aka pull your phone out to let everyone know you’ve graduated). It’s all over in a matter of minutes!

After the ceremony, I met my family upstairs for celebratory champagne and nibbles, and more photos. It was a long day, and it feels a little overwhelming for those few moments where you actually graduate, but I’m glad that I chose to do so. It was a nice way to celebrate our achievements and end our degrees. It’s hard to believe that 3 years passed so quickly and, if I decide to return to Melbourne for future study, things will be different.

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Congrats to everyone graduating, and all the best for the future!

-Danielle

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