Graduation: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Graduation; it symbolises the end of years of hard work. A graduation ceremony officially marks the end of University and the beginning of the rest of your working life, graduating with the ability to delve into something you really care about and enjoy doing. Graduation is a chance for your family to celebrate all the hard work you have put into your education. You get to wear a Harry Potter esque black gown and hat, and you finally get your degree, official proof of the effort you have put in and the grade you deserve. Then to top it all off you get one last massive night out with your University chums. But the meaning of graduation won’t be the same for everyone. Is it really as important as what you initially think it to be? One can’t help but wonder if the graduation ceremony will live up to the meanings that we assume it to have. I wonder if it will actually turn out to feel as important as what I did when one first started University.    

On the one side, graduation does feel like a mile stone, not just in education but in life. Studying through school, college, and University has lead up to this outcome; a time when you end a massive part of your life and start something new. What’s more you realise that graduation is not just a mile stone for you, but for your family as well. The closer the ceremony gets, the more you hear the words: ‘we’re very proud of you’. You can practically see the effort in their faces to not grab your cheek and give it a little pinch. But in this case, it’s actually nice to know that your family look forward to the graduation ceremony too. It makes you glad that someone else appreciates all the work you’ve put in, as you realise that it’s a big day for them just as much as it is for you. It’s not just family you get to share the day with, it’s your mates too; with a huge and amazing night out with the people who you have shared the experiences of University with for the last three years. It’s an amazing feeling to know that all that work has paid off, and the fact that your friend’s work has paid off too and that you get to celebrate together is even more amazing.

Despite all the good things about graduation, it’s also been a hassle. The biggest disadvantage is the cost. It seems as though the ticket is the only free thing. Paying for family tickets and gown hire doesn’t come cheap, sometimes reaching a triple digit. What’s worse is that this cost has only covered the most important parts; there’s still petrol money, parking, and food to pay for yet. That’s just the money side; with so many students attending the same graduation it’s difficult to sort out parking, as well as booking somewhere to eat. The biggest hassle was applying for extra tickets to keep everyone’s families happy. With graduation being such an important ceremony your family want to be as involved as possible. But with no guarantee of receiving all the tickets you applied for, there’s a chance that some of your family might not be able to attend the actual ceremony.

So there has been both good and bad points leading up to graduation so far. Because of the good and the bad, it’s difficult to determine how important graduation really is and what it all means. Will the cost and the hassle be worth it to spend the day in celebration with friends and family? Or will all the buzz and expectations of the day only lead to be disappointing? 

Jenny Pinder

I'm a 22 year old living in Hull, soon to be living in Leeds. I recently found out I have officially passed my university degree, so now I have a summer of fun to look forward to. At the moment everything in life is falling nicely into place.

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