My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience


July 17th saw me graduate from the University of Southampton with First Class Honours, and it was by far one of the best days of my life thus far. I genuinely had such an incredible, special day and I'd loveee to do it all over again.

Prior to my own, I'd never been to a graduation before. Yes, I'd seen them in films and on TV, and seen people's older siblings' graduation pictures on Instagram but if I'm totally honest, I really didn't know what to expect. So, for today's post, I thought I'd give you a little rundown of my graduation experience before sharing the experiences of 7 other bloggers who have also graduated this year. Let's just get stuck in, shall we?

My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the day

My graduation ceremony began at 09.30 meaning that we had to be up and ready to go pretty early - it's not just a turn up and show your face affair... Robe collection began at 08.00, we then had to collect our tickets for the ceremony and our certificate, before heading to the theatre where the graduation was being held. My course is fairly big in size, so our ceremony included only those on the straight psychology BSc.

The 'graduands' entered the theatre in a separate entrance to the audience, and we were sat in rows in alphabetical order. Thankfully, Hannah, who was in my tutor group from the very first day and hence my first ever coursemate, has a surname similar to mine. So, it was so nice to sit with her throughout the ceremony... We'd started this journey together on the first day, and finished together on the last day. Cute, huh?

The ceremony began with a speech, and then various members of the staffing body and wider university made their way to their seats on stage. The head of Psychology then read each graduands' name, one by one, as they walked onto the stage. My surname begins with an M, meaning I had a fair few to watch before my big moment. This was both great - because it meant I got the hang of how it all worked - but it also wasn't so great - helloooo clammy hands and increasing nerves.

And then 'Rebecca...', it was my turn. We'd already received our certificates earlier on in the day, so our time on stage was simply spent shaking hands and talking to the Vice President of the university. (This did confuse me, I thought the whole point of the ceremony was to be given that hella expensive piece of paper?)

Anyway, after all of the students had been on stage, there were various speeches before the ceremony was officially closed and we were about to leave the theatre as graduates!

We then took lots of photos, had prosecco, sandwiches, and cake with the faculty before heading over to the psychology building for a cohort wide photo. We all stood on benches - like you do in primary school photos - smiled for the camera, and then got to throw our caps up into the air.

I genuinely had such a good day, definitely worth the £50k debt and all the hard work. I'm a graduate !!! For me, the best part of the day was the feeling of pride as I watched my best friends go up on stage. They genuinely made my university experience for me - it wouldn't have been even a fraction as good without them - and I know how hard they'd all worked throughout the course, they definitely deserved it!

Anyway, enough about me, what about some of the other bloggers that graduated this year. Let's hear their experiences, shall we?...


So once we'd tottered to campus in our heels, we collected our robes and I had to get that god awful monopoly board of a hat fitted onto my tiny pea head. Everyone on my course sat together and waited until we were asked to head downstairs before walking on stage and shaking hands with the vice chancellor. I panicked so much before I went on stage that instead of saying "thank you" all I could think of was "sorry" which made my parents weak with laughter. I did manage not to stack it or wobble in my shoes so I'm happy with that part at least! We then all went to grab some Prosecco afterwards and say our final goodbyes to some pals and to some of our tutors and lecturers. My favourite part of the day was definitely getting lots of photos with my friends and family - especially trying to explain the concept of a boomerang to my Dad...


My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the dayThe thing that struck me about my graduation ceremony was how chuffed everyone was for each other. It was unbridled joy when we all applauded each other and everyone was congratulating each other before and after being in the graduation hall. It was just a purely excitable day and an overwhelmingly positive experience. My favourite part of the day was being in the marquee and catching up with everyone, finding out what they are all up to post-university! The feeling after graduation, however, is bittersweet. I am proud of my friends and myself for getting through the tough times at university but I will miss the community and the social aspect of being a student.


My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the day
I was anxious when I woke up because my university hadn't really told me much except where to collect our tickets and gowns, and I needed to make sure I could meet my family beforehand to give them tickets. Before we went into the ceremony, everyone was talking and taking graduation photos in front of Newcastle's Arches and the lighted NCLGrad words that were scattered around campus for photo ops. The ceremony itself started with Northumbrian Piper's which felt very local, and with some speeches from staff and a student orator. The entire time I felt amped up but also nervous because I didn't want to trip on stage or anything! As the rows of students went up to graduate officially, it finally got to me, of which I was the first in my degree programme to walk up, so I was even more nervous as I didn't know when to walk or not! Afterwards I felt such a relief that I'd finally offically graduated, and we all ran straight to the cake and prosecco that was on offer for us.


My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the dayThe morning of my graduation I woke up early, brewed up some coffee and let the excitement set in as I took each sip! A few hours later, after having done my hair and makeup, I went to the kitchen, pulled out a chair and laid my head on the table and fell asleep...
Turns out the day of my graduation was also the perfect day to get sick with flu! I was burning up with a fever, my face was swollen and red and my body ached but despite feeling like I got hit by a bus, we made our way to my graduation venue and when we arrived I went to do all the admin things and then waited for my best friends to arrive. The best part was walking across that stage and finally getting capped, hooded and officially receiving my degree, it was as proud of a moment as I thought it would be. Simply knowing that I worked three long, hard years for this and that it was the one thing that no one could ever take away from me, made me more determined than ever to get my career started! The most chaotic part was pictures! We waited in the queues and then I spent about 30 minutes running around in my heels and cap, which was pinned very tightly into place, looking for my friends so that we could take pictures. Eventually we got all our pictures taken and said our goodbyes but the saddest part of the day was knowing that it would be the last official day we could all be together as classmates, after three years of sticking together.
That evening we had a lovely dinner with my fmaily to celebrate and as soon as I got home, the first thing I did was put on those fluffy pyjamas, took some flu medication and got straight into bed! Three months later, my graduation photos got delivered, and my biggest relief was that they didn't get pictures of me sneezing and looking like I was about to throw up on stage!


For me, my ceremony wasn't until 4pm so I had plenty of time to get ready and not stress too much about having to rush to pick up my tickets and my gown. My family and I arrived early afternoon to have time to take some photos and meet up with course mates and their families. I did have a moment of worry and sadness as I realised this would be the last time I'd be at my university and soon I'd be out in the working world. However, my graduation day was the perfect way to round my university experience off. There was quite a lot of waiting around but, on the whole, I really enjoyed the positive atmosphere during my graduation. Unlike many, I actually quite enjoyed my ceremony, with a photojournalist giving a speech that was really inspiring. I was knackered by the end of the day and was glad when it was all over but I still had a lovely day nonetheless. 


I think my favourite part of the day was really sharing it with my loved ones, when I first managed to see my uni friends after being away from them for ages. And also sharing the day with my family as I'm the first in my family to go to university so it was really special for my parents and I think it helped to inspire and motivate my little sister. The moment your family first see you with your robes on is really special.


My (and 7 Other Bloggers') Graduation Experience. What graduation is really like, what to expect, and the best parts of the day
One of my favourite parts was having my name called, it's a weird moment but walking up the stairs and heading down as a graduate was a weird experience. To leave the hall knowing that I did it and came out on the other side is such a weird experience.

Thank you to everyone that participated in this post, I loved reading all about your days!


  1. I can't believe I graduate in less than a year, I'm honestly so excited - the day itself sounds really fancy too, can't wait to wear a gown!

    Lucy | Forever September

  2. Such a wonderful post and i'm so glad I could get involved! x