If you were in South Kensington campus on Wednesday, you might have noticed a lot of people dressed in gowns. No, it wasn’t the Harry Potter convention, nor the biggest fancy dress party ever hosted by the Union. It is the ultimate event in the college education, a.k.a. graduation.
Since the first year, I wondered how it’s gonna feel like to finally graduate. For those of you with similar thoughts, here’s my highly-realistic report.
Arriving at college around noon, I started looking for friends, walking back and forth between SAF and Beit. Eventually, an individual was found and we collected our gowns. I always liked dressing formally, and this was no exception. The only part I didn’t like was that I have to pay 30 quid for hiring a piece of fabric for 8 hours (really, someone has to start up another gown hire company to destroy the monopoly of E&D).
Next hours were spent by mingling, posing for photos and generally feeling like a celebrity or supermodel. I don’t think I’ve ever been on so many pictures on one single day, and I can still see flashes before my eyes. I am glad that my special student-blogger camera is reaching the end of its life and I didn’t have to think of using it creatively.
Royal Albert Hall itself is indeed a beautiful and monumental building. This is truly a perfect place for the graduation ceremony. My course was actually the first one to get on stage, which meant that for the remaining 90 minutes, I was staring at the people walking up and down and not shaking rectors hand (it seems a bow is good enough). That was a bit boring, but strangely enjoyable at the same time. After all, for most, this will be the only opportunity to ever step onto the stage of Royal Albert Hall. Then the speech by the rector, the Union President, some other people, some classical music, and that’s it.
Perhaps slightly more exciting was the reception afterwards, the exciting bit being of course the free champagne. Drinking 7 glasses maybe wasn’t the wisest move, but nothing bad happened, so no harm done Since I had no guests at the ceremony, I could mingle even more which I’ve done. After that, we all went for a huge afterparty, which was the best party ever… except nothing happened. My friends just disappeared with their families, while I was left alone. Oh well, that’s not my last graduation at Imperial, so I can still correct my mistakes