Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Graduation!

In 2010, I enrolled in WEB101 - Web Communications, via Open Universities Australia. From the beginning I'd decided that if I ever finished this degree, I'd go to Perth to do the whole "graduation" thing properly at Curtin, because I'd never done it before - third time lucky! I started my 1st degree at 17 straight out of high school, but had to defer for 12 months due to a bout of glandular fever that only lasted 2, and never went back. I started my 2nd degree when the first IT degrees started to appeared in the 90's, but it was more programming than IT back then so I left and never went back.

And so I found myself in Perth last weekend. :)

We arranged to take the kids out of school for 3 days, and flew to Perth on Friday. The first thing we did was get our hire car and drive to the Bentley Campus, to pick up my graduation regalia and tickets.

Quite surreal, studying here for 6 years without ever setting foot in the place until today!
Finally Sunday arrived. I got dressed and we drove to the Perth Convention Entertainment Centre. I left the family and was directed into a big "holding pen" with all the other graduating students, and we were put into lines. This is when I met some fellow students for the first time!

After a small hiccup (where I'd been given the wrong sash, which was quickly replaced), we were shown a short video which included instrutions on how to "doff" at the Chancellor, walk towards him, shake with right hand, turn to face the photographers and then continue across the stage, down the stairs and back around to our seats.

We were then led into the main hall, where all the friends and family were already seated, and down to our seats. I was lucky to spot my family in the crowd on the way in so I knew where to look for them! And we were off!

Welcome to Country / Official Welcome
It's fair to say that the production line of students filing out of their seats, around to the stage, up, across, down, back to seats, wasn't that thrilling. And there's that deep-down fear that YOU'LL be the one who trips over on stage (thankfully not!). But when it was my turn, I heard my kids shouting and cheering which made it all worthwhile.

Crunch time!
Honestly, it was one of the best things I've done and I can't recommend it enough. Being an online student has many, many perks, but the downside is you tend to not really feel a part of anything significant. After 6 years of study, I'd never met a teacher in person, only met 1-2 fellow students and never set foot on campus. The pomp and ceremony added a nice full-stop to my whole study experience and somehow made it all feel a bit more worthwhile. If you're thinking about going and aren't sure - go for it! You won't regret it. :)


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