End of university chapter…and starting working life chapter

You might remember back in September that I wrote about what it’s like to be a graduate not long after finishing university. Well, nearly two weeks ago, I officially became one of those graduates.

On that morning, my parents, my girlfriend and I headed into Edinburgh, fighting the remains of the rush hour traffic – which thankfully wasn’t as bad as I thought it could be – and then we arrived at the ceremony.

After initial confusion about where everything was – I soon donned black and red robes; had a photograph or two with the missus and the parents outside before heading off to get a single photograph and a family photograph. The photographer was possibly one of the best I’ve ever worked with – within five minutes we were all done and dusted.

Once we got our tickets, we headed for the theatre itself and went to our seats.

The ceremony itself is something I will never forget and perhaps for the first time, I fully realised the scale of my achievement. It’s scary yet exciting to think back after four years of work it can result in this amazing event.

I was joined by half-a-dozen others graduating in a variety of Bachelors, Masters, Postgraduate Diplomas and PhDs. One-by-one we went up to the stage to shake hands with the Chancellor, collected our degrees before being seated again.

There were several things that happened in that ceremony that struck me:

1) I was nearly the only person to actually stop, shake hands with the Chancellor and exchange congratulatory remarks. If you can, do at least stop for a few seconds.
2) While it was an honour to be donning those robes – they are hideously impractical. Top tip: be mindful of the robe otherwise be prepared to become part of the seats. Think of it as the equivalent to the rear carraige of a bendy bus but without the huge turning circles.
3) Get your photographs done early. I managed to do this and it saved me a lot of time and hassle.

Looking back on the day it will go down as a key milestone of my life. Whether the degree’s potential can be fully utilised, (I certainly hope so), remains to be seen. I am now most grateful to have that opportunity, despite grumblings over the years, to study at university. Not many get that opportunity – some would even kill for the chance to have higher education.

Oh, and another top tip for when you graduate: if the following function serves tiny portions of posh food, stick to pub food, it’s more filling and deserving.


An expert at being a non-expert with abilities to write, present and produce. Interested in all things current affairs, sport (especially motor racing and rugby), entertainment, technology and human interest. Presented for radio since 2009 and podcasts since 2015; blog writer since 2012. Currently writer of my own blog, "Hansen's Corner", and presenter-producer of "Over The Mic" talk podcast.

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Posted in Life, Musings

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November 2015
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