Graduation

After three years of lounging about punctuated by intense spasms of hard slogging I can now safely announce that I, Andrew Thomas Smith, am a university graduate.

I didn’t expect to enjoy the whole ceremony thing. In fact I only really agreed to do it in order to satisfy my parents; they did, after all, pay for the majority of my time there. It was to my great surprise that my day turned out to be pretty bloody great. The bits I dreaded, like actually collecting gowns and taking photos, went without a hitch and the ceremony itself was pretty pleasant.

Drew meets Kate, a class act with an understandably limp handshake.

One highlight was the speech given by veteran journalist Kate Adie. She came in as a replacement for the new chancellor of Sunderland University Steve Cram who was busy doing some sports-type guff for the BBC in London. I’m quite glad he didn’t turn up as personally I have far more motivation to respect and listen to Adie’s words of wisdom. Her speech was only slightly marred by her request that we go out into the world of employment and, “wave yourselves in their faces.”

It is no secret that during my three years at university I regarded a good percentage of my fellow students with great disdain. At the ceremony however I found these past gripes lifted from my shoulders. Sure, I didn’t particularly care for a lot of these people but in all likelihood I would never see the ones I disliked again and they must have worked just as hard as me to get to this point. Good on them. I got to say hello to just about everyone I cared to say hello too, even if I completely failed to find others in the crowd. It also felt right that Rob and I ended up celebrating together after the whole shebang was done. He was the first real friend I made at uni and remains one of the best.

Rob (Left) and Muggins (Right)

What really made the day special was the attitude of my family, nine of whom showed up to the ceremony. I may bitch and moan about them from time to time but their support and generosity was very touching and I can’t thank them enough. It was also great to gather at home afterwards and get a bit shloshed with them.

Me and My Dad

So, now what?

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