My Graduation Experience

Our blogger Emily has just graduated from Warwick! She shares her graduation day experience, and her final thoughts are she moves on from Warwick and university life.

I remember in first year, hearing all about graduation from finalists. At the time I didn’t know why graduates were getting so excited for the day, I thought graduation was a formality. Four years later, I can agree that graduation truly was a day I won’t forget. I wanted to share my graduation experiences with you, hopefully you can start looking forward to the fantastic celebration which awaits you when you finish your degree.

Warwick is a fantastic university, and I am confident that it was perfect for me

In the morning, me and my flatmates went to collect our robes in the Arts Centre. Getting my robes fitted was one of the most exciting moments. I rented my robes for the day, sending over my head size and height in advance to make sure they fitted perfectly. Countless fitters got all the graduands ready; finally graduation felt real.

Exterior image of Warwick piazza, with buildings in the background. There are people in the background with two people walking away from the camera in the foreground.
It’s great to show your family around the campus at graduation. Image credit: University of Warwick.

Afterwards I attended the statistics celebration event held in the Mathematical Sciences Building. It was so nice to thank lecturers for their support throughout my degree and to let them know about my next plans. It was also the perfect time to show my family the department, calm down before my graduation, and start taking a serious number of photos to commemorate the day.

At 2.30pm we arrived at the Butterworth Hall for the ceremony to start. Chamber Choir, the University’s Brass Band and organist set the scene as families and graduates got to their seats. Although there was the usual pomp and ceremonial procession to the front of the stage, it still felt like a big celebration. After the Chancellor stood and had said a few words, the graduations began. A host was on stage, tasked with reading out around 300 names over the course of the ceremony, with PhD, masters and undergraduate students all graduating. I think everyone at graduation fears falling over, or their robes or hat falling down. Luckily for me there were no steps, and my name came and went so quickly that I hardly even thought about my fears as I walked across the stage. Due to the ongoing Covid pandemic there wasn’t an opportunity for me to shake hands with the chancellor but there was a chance to exchange a few words and acknowledge her with a nod of the head. Afterwards I received my certificate and returned to my seat for the rest of the ceremony. Halfway through the graduations Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe received an honorary doctorate and a member of the Warwick alumni community gave an inspirational talk on life after graduation.

A girl in a blue dress with black robes throwing a black mortarboard into the air. She is stood in front of a giant white cone.
Emily throws her mortarboard in the air next to the iconic Koan. Image credit: Emily Alger.

When every name had been read out and every person had walked across the Butterworth stage, the Warwick Fanfare played out as graduates joined the ceremonial procession, ready for photos on the Piazza steps. After we had thrown our hats in the air as a cohort, I spent time with my family. I showed my family around Warwick proudly, giving my own tour of campus. After four years at Warwick you truly get attached, it’s the environment which grew me up from a naïve, young 18 year-old to a confident woman ready to start her career.

A large group of students in black robes throwing mortarboards in the air
Image Credit: University of Warwick.

My last thoughts for you as I leave Warwick

University flies by so fast, so make a point of enjoying your time and remembering all the success you have achieved along the way

Warwick is a fantastic university, and I am confident that it was perfect for me. At the same time, no matter what or where you study, university can have challenges. Keep looking forward and do your best no matter the challenge. There will always be bumps in the road but when you look back in the rear-view mirror you will realise how far you’ve come.

Celebrate your successes. During your time at university there will be so many small successes and big successes which you should celebrate. University flies by so fast, so make a point of enjoying your time and remembering all the success you have achieved along the way.

Take every opportunity you can at Warwick in every sense – say yes to as many social invites, career events and departmental jobs as you can. Your university experience is personal to you, make it your own and enjoy the ride.


Did you graduate this year? What did you enjoy the most? Let us know by leaving a comment below, by tweeting us @warwicklibrary, or by emailing libraryblogs@warwick.ac.uk

If you’re thinking back on your time of Warwick, why not read Emily’s recent blog on Reflections from University or Iona’s blog on What Happens Next?

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