It’s graduation season, that weird time where friends and family gather to actively celebrate your most carefree years coming to an end. All in all, it’s a bit of a weird day. I’ve graduated twice in my lifetime and each ceremony has been a long, awkward drawn out process that effectively could’ve been covered in about five minutes. Nevertheless, you’ve done the work (probably), so you might as well go along and keep your parents happy by wearing Harry Potter’s clothes and posing for a few awkward snaps. From my experience though there are a few things worth bearing in mind.
Firstly, go for a wee before you do anything. Seriously. Graduation ceremonies are long. Some feel longer than the actual degree you completed to get there. I made this mistake on my first graduation at Manchester Met. I was there to collect my dead useful degree in Film and Media Studies. You know, the one that definitely wasn’t a complete waste of time and money. Before things kicked off I joined a mate for a quick pint in the lobby. Rookie mistake. With hardly any time to polish it off, we found ourselves necking our drinks whilst being ushered into a big hall to take our seats. Then, it began.
It started slow as they breezed through surnames beginning A through D. “Huh, that pint sure went through me quick,” I thought, feigning surprise. “If this keeps up, I’ll need to nip to the bathroom!” Nervous laughter followed. A touch of mild panic set in. Soon, a slight inkling became a feverous need and for three seemingly never-ending hours I was stuck there, wide-eyed and twitchy and regretting the day I ever decided to go to university. Each round of applause that greeted students accepting their scrolls was like shaking a fizzy bottle of coke, except the bottle was my crotch and the coke was just loads of piss. It was a close call and honestly one of the only things I really remember about the day. When I finally got to a toilet I was genuinely concerned that the first few squirts would be blood. Which, you know, isn’t that fun, really.
By the time my second graduation rolled around I’d learnt my lesson but this time I encountered another problem thanks to my impossibly round head. Having dodged the piss bullet (decent band name), I messed up this time by accidentally getting a hat that was too small for my dome. The ratio of hat-holder-on-er-fabric-attached-to-my-graduation-cap to cranium was the equivalent of a golf ball to its tee. It looked like an Action Man hat.
Embarrassing, yes, but it wasn’t so bad throughout 99% of the ceremony. After all, you’re sat down for most of it. However it made for an incredibly tense 1% as I waddled across the stage in front of hundreds of students and their parents whilst desperately trying not to move my skull for fear of my cap sliding off like some sort of tiny hat perched on a giant novelty balloon. To this day I still wonder what the uni lecturer on stage must have thought when he saw me awkwardly lumbering towards him to collect my degree. I approached him with the angular, stiff stroll of someone who’s shit themselves but is determined to power through it. Admittedly, it wasn’t the best look.
So if you are heading to your graduation soon, heed these warnings. They could come in handy. If not, go for regular wees anyway. It’s probably dangerous to hold them in for too long.
Got a similar graduation story? Let me know!