Sunday, 24 June 2012

4 years, 42 essays, 20 exams and 1 dissertation later...

Last Tuesday,  I finally graduated!

Graduation Procession
I'm the one in the middle! This is me as part of the academic procession.

It was actually a very sweet ceremony. I had been dreading it somewhat, but it was really lovely. I had a nice chat with the boy sat next to me, who'd I never met before, and we totally had some graduation-fear bonding. When the medieval maces came out with the rather sombre academic procession and the choir starting singing in Latin, he leaned over, looking terrified, and said: "I feel like I'm being initiated into a cult." I thought I'd be walking across the stage in utter terror, but I ended up just beaming like an idiot the entire time. It was very cute and old and just so St Andrews. The entire official ceremony is conducted in Latin and is just so ceremonial and ridiculous and adorable. The moment of official graduation happens when you kneel and get bopped on the head by the person presiding over your ceremony by a three-hundred year old cap. Then, you receive your degree-appropriate hood. Mine was black with cherry red lining, because I was receiving an MA. (The BSc ones are pink with a fluffy rim, and they totally crack me up.)

St Andrews Graduation
This is me, mid-bop on the head.

I have been bopped by the same cap as William and Kate. Still waiting for the classiness that rubbed off on me to manifest. Could be waiting a long time, I suspect.

Graduation Alice
In the Cathedral 

It was forecast to rain, but St Andrews came out beautifully sunny and warm. Thanks for the lovely send-off, St As! I will miss this town. I will miss living ten minutes away from beautiful places. I will miss the Cathedral. I will not miss being a student.

Facebook is an emotional minefield right now, given that so many people I know are graduating and making tearful statuses about 'the best four years' of their lives and so on. I enjoyed my degree! I enjoyed studying awesome things and having intelligent, awesome people teach you about them. I wouldn't change the past four years for the world, but that doesn't mean it was always awesome, because it wasn't. Sometimes, it sucked. I met some amazing people, who I will keep in touch with, but I met a lot of not-so-awesome people as well, and found myself incredibly frustrated with aspects of the academia culture even as I loved studying. I don't think I lived this mythical 'student life' I hear so much about. I drank too much sometimes, and threw up in embarrassing places, but those are not treasured memories! In fact, I, uh, actually kind of wish I could erase them altogether.

My favourite memories will be things like taking doll photos in the cathedral with Gavin. Walking through Lade Braes and seeing herons. Having stitch 'n bitch sessions with my housemates watching Big Fat Gypsy Weddings. Having Lord of the Rings movie marathons with gingerbread and mead and some awesome people I met in my sci fi module. Eating out too much with Gav because we can't resist sushi. The most amazing pies from Fisher and Donaldson.

I resent the implication that my life is downhill from here! I feel like the best is yet to come, and I'm excited. :)

Graduation Alice
Me and my graduation present to myself (Alexis Emerald Blythe doll) complete with mini robe!

I suppose the slightly depressing thing is now I've graduated, I'm officially unemployed. Working on rectifying that! Wish me luck~

Graduation Alice

Just outside St Salvator's, there are the initials PH on the ground. They stand for Patrick Hamilton, who was burned alive on that spot during the Reformation. Student traditions says that it is dangerous to stand on the PH, and if you do so, you will fail your degree! (You can atone, though, by doing the May Dip.) Having dutifully avoided stepping on it for the past 4 years, it was weirdly exciting to finally stand on it.

171/366 Graduation!

Goodbye, St Andrews! Thank you for all the prettiness and perfect weather. (And, well, Gavin. He's my favourite souvenir!) Best of luck with the coastal erosion business, and maybe, I'll see you again sometime!

alice xox, M.A. (Hons)
(sorry, couldn't resist)

1 comment:

  1. Yaaaaay! *so excited*

    I love that AEm has a mini-robe too :D And yaaaaay for being awesome and honourably graduated!