July 15, 2013, by Kiran

Graduation & Gowns

This moment seemed so far away three years ago but today I find myself in my Graduation robes, hat at the ready and about to graduate from the University of Nottingham. I know it’s a cliché but seriously where has all the time gone?! Oh well, here we go…




My hat is a little too big for my head and I am slightly worried that when I walk on stage it is going to fall off. I’m pretty sure that if it falls off your head more than three times they don’t let you graduate! Every time I shift about I have to readjust my robes; I can feel the pins holding on for dear life as I fidget. Seeing everyone dressed in their gowns reminds of a scene from Hogwarts but instead of wielding wands we all have a degree at hand. Hopefully in the future this will prove to be just as powerful as said wand.



Our row is called up and I walk to the stage. Luckily I am told we are not supposed to wear our hats during the actual procession (I assume this is because of hat related fatalities in previous years) and so now all I can think is ‘Do not fall over, do not fall over!’ I take my place in the queue and name by name gets called out. Maybe I should have practiced my walk. Which variation of the phrase ‘Thank You’ should I say to the Vice Chancellor?

Now I am at the front of the queue and I hear: ‘English with Creative Writing, Kiran Benawra’

grad walk

You will be relieved to hear that I did not fall over. I reach the Vice Chancellor and decide on a simple ‘Thanks’ accompanied by a smile.

I sit down and it all sinks in that my time at Nottingham has come to an end and as proud as I am to finally have my degree qualification in my hand I can’t help but feel sad it’s all over. I don’t really have too much time to reflect though because it is straight out of the very nicely decorated Sports Hall (it’s unrecognizable from those exam hall days) and out into the sunshine to take those photographs. You know the ones I mean…and if you don’t here are a few to remind you:

hat throwing



Refreshments draw us to the East Midlands Conference Centre and after a few sweet treats it is time to get that professional photo, the one parents can frame and send out to all the family. I try to get my hat placement perfect and even though I think I’ve got it just right, I enter the photo booth and the photographer moves it to the correct angle. A scroll with a blue ribbon is handed to me and I’m ready for my close up!

As impressive as the gowns look and as nice as the day is and as well as the photos came out I am actually quite glad to hand the gown back because at times the neck of the gown creeps up to choke you and under all that fabric it can unsurprisingly get quite warm; I feel sorry for the boys in their suits!

Walking back to the car, it’s a shame I’m having to say goodbye to the campus, a place I have really grown attached to these last three years. Don’t worry though Nottingham…I’ll be back.

p.s. Happy Graduation to all you final year students!


Posted in 2012 Kiran