Or so claims NUS. Today is my commencement ceremony, or to people from other universities, today is my convocation ceremony. NUS deliberately changed the ceremony name to reflect the idea that we are commencing a new phase in life; a total change from just plain studying.
Just yesterday I was not feeling the excitement over graduation; today, well, I guess I still didn’t feel the excitement. However I did feel nervous right before it was my turn to receive the degree scroll from the Dean of Engineering, somehow it just felt like that was the moment it all came to an end; where we have to do it right and smile properly for the camera, else the moment would not be captured properly and 16 years would have gone to a waste.
There seemed to be an awful lot of First Class Honours in my cohort. It took up on full page with a dual column for names in First Class, followed by roughly four pages of people from Second Upper, Second Lower, Third and a Pass Degree. So if you just count, it is probably about 20% of the cohort. Which is huge because some other departments don’t get that much; there is only one First Class Honours graduate in Civil Engineering, for example.
I left home early in the morning to go to NUS with Nelson to take photos all around school; namely in the University Cultural Centre as well as Faculty of Engineering. We went to take photos with the people who graduated in the morning as well. The weather was hot and the air cons weren’t good enough. The thick academic dress made it a fact that we would all sweat and wet our shirts inside.
In the afternoon, my commencement ceremony started promptly at 3pm. There was the singing of the national anthem at the beginning and the end of the ceremony, with the ending one being the shorter one-verse version. I just felt it a little strange as there were a sizable number of foreigners in the room, and only a handful of Singaporeans would probably feel the meaning of playing the anthem.
After the ceremony it was a huge photo taking session. My parents bought the NUS graduation bear as a gift, and the price increased when they promised they wouldn’t after I asked them explicitly during the collection of the academic dress “Will the price increase during commencement” and the answer being a short but firm “no”. Bullshit.
We also bought the plaque (is that the right spelling?) which states my degree and the classification. I haven’t thought of where I should put it, or whether I should bring it to office in the future, but I guess at the moment I would find a spot at home. Maybe I should hang it up proudly. Now there’s a graduate in the house.
The photo taking ended after an hour or so; hence I should expect people to start tagging me earliest tomorrow. I just got tagged from a photo belonging to my friend’s commencement in the morning. Afternoon photos should come tomorrow earliest I guess. There are many cameras from different people, hence I didn’t really use my camera.
There was an ECE graduation night event with food. I thought it was just a food session, but there were activities before the food session, and the activities were just meh, although kudos to the people who spent effort putting it up. I was kind of paiseh that my family was there sitting through the event, it looks like not alot of parents were there. But at least then I got a ride home, else I would be even more tired after the entire thing.
Now it’s back to work tomorrow! As I mentioned to my friends, it is time to face the reality that I am no longer a student and I cannot have the luxury of waking up at 9am and having 4 hour breaks in between lessons. It is work and more work, and then I will move on to building a family, which means work after work ends, and it will be a never ending cycle until my kids are grown up and graduated.
Pictures when I have time to collate and put them back. I will show my certificate and my graduation bear. The stupid graduation lion was sold out tho. And I saw someone who dressed a monkey toy up as an Engineering graduation monkey. Quite creative.