Another chapter of my life has officially ended.
As soon as I threw the funny-looking hat in the air, I felt a huge burden being lifted. I am done with formal education!! I’ve finished with my student life, all those years of studying hard, memorising silly acronyms and exam stress have now been paid off, with a handshake.
All that fuss of getting the robe and rushing my family to book their flights and waking up early to get spare tickets for more family members, was just so that they could see me get up on stage to…shake hands with the Director. Not even the Queen!
LSE so cikai! Not even a certificate, not even a fake scroll! They could have at least provided us with empty scrolls on stage. But noooo we left school with just a handshake.
Since it was done alphabetically, Stella went up on the stage first. As soon as I saw her lining up, I was so excited for her! When they called her name, I was clapping so hard and woo-hoo-ing all the way until she came down. I dismissed funny looks from people who probably thought Stella was my lesbian lover.
Then my name came, what seemed to be hours later. I didn’t know what was going on around me, all I heard in my head was “Don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip, stop, shake hands, smile, say thank you, don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip, phew” all the way down.
I saw my parents in the crowd and emotions rushed to me.
I felt sad, because so many people had their names announced following “With First Class Honours….” I felt happy for my colleagues of course, but sad that I wasn’t one of them. I almost felt as if it was a waste for my family to come, seeing that all I got was a 2:1. If I could do it again, I would, and this time, I’d actually visit the library after my Harrods session. I know it’s cliche, but if you’re still a uni student, I’m telling you, there is no worse feeling than regret knowing that you could’ve done better and it’s no use now, when you can’t take it back.
I also felt a sense of gratitude. Looking at my parents, so proud with their cameras clicking away, embarrassing me in front of my friends, I know that this wasn’t possible without them. Financially, mentally, physically, I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for their sweat and blood.
Well, they can sigh a breathe of relief now because both their children have finished their educations. Maybe now, they can spend some time pampering and focusing on themselves because they won’t have to pay for us anymore. OK no wait I take that back. That’s a lie. I still have my dad’s credit card, and even if he cancels it, I have his banker’s home phone number.
My dad says that after we start work, he’ll cancel our credit cards so we’ll be more independent bla bla bla.
DAD, IF YOU’RE READING THIS, DON’T TAKE AWAY MY CREDIT CARD. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Back to my graduation story.
After the ceremony, we took lots of pictures. Stella and I hugged each other tight. We know we couldn’t have done it without each other and it’s so amazing to graduate together, each of us beaming proud for the other one.
For what it’s worth, I too am very proud of myself for this achievement.
I now have a law degree from LSE, the London School of Economics and Political Science.
When I get the degree (posted to me soon), it will be proudly hung. On my refrigerator door with some cute handbag fridge magnet.
Oh, and on the fashion side…the robes are so unflattering! I felt like a fat and short Superman.
I chose a Juicy Couture button top and Supre high waisted skirt (after ignoring a lecture from my mom about not covering my legs.. if it were up to her, I’d be wearing a full length robe inside!).
I actually shouldn’t have worn pink when I knew the LSE colours were purple and yellow. And the ribbon on the front only helped me look like a cross between a stewardess and a penguin.
Well, it’s time to close the book now.
But I can’t help bring with me to adulthood the childish and carefree side of me.
Here’s to growing up!