University of Hertfordshire Graduation: 8th September 2015

New Beginnings for UH Graduates

[Robert Wheatley | Lifestyle Editor]

As another final year draws to a close, the celebration of the immense work students have put into their degrees begins with an emotional Awards Ceremony at the monumental St Albans Cathedral. As the graduates spill from its double doors sporting their robes, group photographs or selfies are taken and hats are flung into the air; hugs ensuing with friends sharing the knowledge that they have succeeded in one of the hardest parts of their lives.

Image: Tobi Olasupo

Image: Tobi Olasupo

While most were naturally exhausted from such a day, I was able to interview some about their experiences, from their favourite moment at the University of Hertfordshire down to what they would do differently if they could. It was interesting to see the different answers:

“Probably today – just doing this is the best part,” said 22-year-old Sarah Chinn, a student majoring with a BSc in Psychology. “I think it’s all summed up to this because you’ve worked so hard after the last 3 years, and you’re finally getting to see all your friends in their robes. I think the ceremony is the best bit.”

Image: Tobi Olasupo

Image: Tobi Olasupo

When asked about the most difficult part of her degree, she answered:

“Exams, definitely. We have a lot of dates and names to learn; I think I learnt 50 names and dates for one exam, all off by heart. I had lists of 50 pictures – word association doesn’t work for me.”

Sarah’s words of wisdom undoubtedly apply to all university students:

“Go to lectures! It’s so hard to catch up if you don’t go to lectures, and definitely read around the course; get background information because I started without any psychology knowledge, and everyone was a little bit more ahead so they knew what they were doing. It’s better to do some background reading, definitely, and look up what subject area you’re into.”

Other graduates noted their involvement with societies and the Students’ Union amongst some of their best memories. James Tan, a 22-year-old Pharmacy student, spoke to me about his formation of the Skirmish Society:

“It’s like the Airsoft one. That was a real game changer for me, being able to run that; the fact that we had the opportunity to do so and actually got to know the University as a result.

Image: Tobi Olasupo

Image: Tobi Olasupo

“I helped start that society in second year, I kept it going in fourth year, and ended up taking control of the Pharmacy society, which was the bugbear because it took a lot more time and effort than I could give at the time. It was fun and soul-destroying at the same time.”

James had advice for those wishing to get involved with sports at the University:

“The Athletic Union is kick-ass: if you can do it, do it. Find something that you’d like as they always do the tasters in the first two weeks – just get to know the group, because it’s not just about the sports, it’s about the people you know. I tried badminton and I didn’t really enjoy it; I tried fencing on a whim – I have lifelong friends now.”

Like Sarah, James had tips for undergraduates:

“First year: enjoy it. Get to know people, as you’re with them for four years. The moment you hit second and third year, the course does start to dominate a bit more. Find your roots in first year: third year, start listening, read – go read things!”