It only felt like yesterday when my Mum and Dad dropped me off at my halls of residence ready to begin my journey in Cardiff, a city I had only ever been to once before, for my course interview day. Three years later I was ready to graduate. Now I can all this city my home, and the journey that I have been on was incredible.
Before I write anything about what graduation day was like for me I have one top tip to share; It may sound cliché but you really need to LIVE IN THE MOMENT!
There is a massive build up to Graduation Day. You’ve spent ages thinking about what you’re going to wear, you’ve been chatting to your course mates about it for weeks and no one can believe how quickly the last few years have gone.
You’ve definitely been overthinking that walking-across-the-stage moment and imagined yourself falling over many times (don’t worry, we were told it has never ever happened – yet!). But despite all of this, on the day make sure you take in the atmosphere. Enjoy being surrounded by your friends and family, and as you walk across that stage to accept your certificate be proud of all the hard work you have put in to get there.
After a morning of getting ready I drove to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay with my family, which is such a lovely venue for the ceremony. The first thing to do was to collect my gown and cap. It’s the best feeling when you see every single person walking out of the gown fitting room with caps on their heads and massive proud grins on their faces – this is when it really starts to sink in that it’s actually happening!
Before the ceremony starts all of us students headed into the hall to take our seats for a quick run through. This was fantastic for calming the nerves! We were told exactly what to expect, how to line up and walk across the stage, how to collect our certificate and how to get back to our seats afterwards.
Then all of our friends and family came in to sit behind us – at this point you should definitely take the opportunity to spot your relatives and give them a big smile and wave!
Then the ceremony began, my heart was absolutely racing as I was only the third person to go up on the stage. At this point I had remind myself that walking is not that difficult, and I that I did know how to do it! The moment when you shake the Vice Chancellors hand and accept your certificate is really emotional, and I’ve definitely never felt as proud of myself and my friends as I did on that day.
All of that built up energy then went into clapping and cheering everyone as they walked across the stage for their big moment. Afterwards, you get to keep your gown for a couple of hours for lots of photo taking opportunities – I remember telling my mum at the end of the day how much my cheeks hurt from constant smiling!
The memory of being surrounded by my amazing friends from the past three years and graduating in the city that I love will stay with me for the rest of my life. Have a fantastic graduation!
Visit our Class of 2018 page for more information on Graduation, and don’t forget to share your day using the hashtag #CardiffMet! You can also find out what some of our graduates are up to now with our Life After Uni blog posts.