So final year bluesers! The time has come to don the cap and gown, practice your best smile for the cameras and your most firm of handshakes. It’s graduation time! Time to stop being graduands and become graduates.
My graduation was utterly surreal. Being dressed in my robes was beyond hilarious, as a very serious young man hoisted the black cloth on my shoulders and quite forecefully rammed the mortarboard on my head. I quickly realised turning up without an army of safety pins was a bit of a mistake. My robes slid whichever way they chose as I ran around searching for the lost parentals before the ceremony began.
Me being me, I couldn’t help but see the funny side of the entire day. After all, you can’t get much more ridiculous than parading around in get-up more befitting of a Harry Potter film. My only regret is not actually carrying out the threat of bringing an owl and a wand. A cap and gown isn’t the easiest outfit to feel comfortable in, but it’s made that much easier when you start singing the Harry Potter theme at every moment possible (including when I bumped into fellow Siren Becca Taylor in her maroon usher robes).
There was one certainty for graduation; there was not a chance in hell my name was going to be pronounced correctly. This is the whole reason my nickname is ‘Len’. Elena gets changed to something between ‘Elinor’ and ‘Elaina’ while no one ever manages to get Cresci right first time, unless they’re a linguist or familiar with the family name. “Elaina Maria Creski” was called out and I stepped out to shake the Pro-VC’s hand, trying not to burst into a fit of giggles. Standard.
The pomp and circumstance of graduation isn’t exactly my cup of tea – but the fact is… guys, we made it, we’re done, finito. It’s been quite a ride. So the ceremony left us with some lovely photos, proud parents and a bit of paper, but my time here has brought me so much more.
Let’s see… four years, three residences, one year abroad, countless essays, numerous ill thought-out nights out on Wind Street, sanity saving sweaty Thursdays in Sin City, a couple of landlord dramas, old friends, new friends, shameful drunken snogs, recovery fry-ups, coffees and pints in JCs, heart-to-hearts at 4am in the kebab shop, too much time spent in the library, an unhealthy amount spent pretending to do work in the SU PC room, dancing like a loon in Tooters, chicken tikka pasties from the campus bakery, so many Jiu-Jitsu inflicted bruises from both training and socials, four Summer Balls, Deutsch action galore, a certain commentary blog… oh, and two letters after my name.