Group of students in graduation gowns and caps.

Graduation: 1 year on

Today marks exactly one year since I graduated from the University of Lincoln, in what can only be described as one of the most special days of my life. For many lucky students, this week will be their turn to robe up, walk through the castle grounds, and exit their time as a student with a walk in an academic procession, out of the cathedral.

Lincoln graduation is incredibly special. Not only do you get to celebrate your hard work, throw on a suave cap and gown, but you get to be a part of a fantastic day, in the most beautiful setting you could ask for. It all begins with drinks in the castle grounds – the uni sets up tents where you can buy Prosecco, Pimms, beer, or whatever drink your heart desires! You get your gown fitted by professionals who ensure that you will look just right for your special day, and then you can wander around taking perfect candid pictures, with the cathedral or castle as your backdrop.

Then, the ceremony! You may think you have your nerves under control, but when they explain to you the traditional Lincoln salute (or Doff), where you must stand and who you must wave to, and then you think about how many people are sitting in the cathedral watching only you walk across that stage, it all becomes a bit scary. I was so nervous I would trip over, or forget to salute – but I managed it flawlessly, as basically everyone does. Once you have collected your certificate you can relax and enjoy watching all your friends as they walk across the stage – my course was quite small, so this didn’t take too long for us.

After the ceremony, things get a little bit nostalgic. You suddenly realise that your life at the university is over and that you have to start real life. Graduation is such an important day for you, your course-mates, and your family, to celebrate how hard you’ve worked and all the exciting things to come. Graduation at Lincoln really is something to look forward to and should be a motivation to work harder in your studies, as it feels like a huge reward for those all nighters, 9am starts, deadlines and exam stress.

If you are graduating this week, I hope you have an incredible time and I am so jealous. I hope your time at Lincoln has been wonderful, and that you get the grades you deserve. I can guarantee that you will miss your life at university, as saying goodbye to Lincoln is really hard.

In fact, I found it impossible to say goodbye, and stayed on to do a Masters, which means I get to graduate all over again!! Lucky me!