Graduating from Liverpool John Moores University

23rd July 2015

Graduating from LJMU

How to I begin to summarise the last three years of my life? Where do I begin?

I moved to Liverpool in 2012 to study geography and to start one of the biggest adventures of my life. Last Thursday I graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a 1st class honours degree in Geography (BSc).

I remember people telling me my three years at university would fly by but it’s difficult to understand just how fast they go. I met some incredible people along the way and made many special memories. It’s hard to believe it’s come to an end.

I graduated at Liverpool Cathedral, which is the largest church in England. I had to collect my gowns and have my professional photos taken beforehand on campus, all while my parents drank wine in the gardens. I felt so special being dressed in the robes. Fortunately for me they were blue, which is my favourite colour to wear. I wore a light blue dress underneath, which worked really well.

I met up with some friends and had the chance to meet their families too. We all wondered over to the cathedral to find our seats for the ceremony.

But before I got in, I found my best friend Becky from back home in Shropshire standing at the door to wish me luck. I was completely surprised but it was a lovely moment.

The ceremony was quite long, with everyone from natural science, psychology and astrophysics graduating. Geography was towards the end and I felt so nervous about getting up in stage. You’ve probably all seen the graduation fail videos, and to add to the worry of falling I was wearing heels!

It was all a blur. Before I knew it it was over. I shook hands with the chancellor and vice chancellor, and finally one of my lecturers. He had been so supportive of me throughout the three years, especially with my hip condition, so I felt quite emotional.

Later on in the evening we went out of a meal to celebrate. We choose Miller and Carter Steakhouse on Albert Dock because that was the restaurant we went to the day I moved to Liverpool. After a huge meal with lots of cocktails and wine we ended the night in the Cavern Pub, enjoying some live music.

It hit me hard when I woke up on Friday. Not the alcohol, but the fact that I had now finished university and I won’t get to see my uni friends as often as many are moving back home. I wish I could go back to the start and relive it all again. I know it was a stressful three years but they were also some of the best years of my life.

It’s time to focus on the future and enjoy what’s to come next…whatever that might be.

(Sorry for the the photo quality. It was taken on my mum’s compact camera and it was really bright outside. Professional photos to follow!)

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  1. Jamie

    Congratulations on graduating! You must be full of emotions right now or at that moment? I know I will be. I’m hoping that I can continue forward. Right now, I’m just waiting on an answer for my Pell Grant.

    My boyfriend Tristan has a few more years left himself. So far, he has managed to get 4.0’s every single semester (his first year). He told me that if my grant money were to run out and he has a good paying job, that he will help me with my tuition. What a sweetheart? Eh? Though, I’m sorry to hear that your friends will be moving back. It’s always hard to say good-bye, but hey, may be you can go and visit them.

    • Holly

      Thank you!

      That’s really sweet of him. I know that Tyrone will support me if it comes to it, but I can survive until after Christmas on my savings alone.

  2. It sounds like you had a blast while being in school! I always thought it’s cool when people are getting their graduation pictures taken. I already made a list of places at school where I want my pictures taken XD. It’s great to have staffmember(s) who support you and do what they can to help you throughout your college career. The ones that are “bad” are the ones who only show up to collect their pay checks. The meaningful ones makes a difference in the student’s lives. I’m sure you’ll find some worthwhile adventures going forward!

    • Holly

      If I’d had my gowns for longer (I didn’t realise you could pick them up earlier) I would have gone all around the city having photos taken! I would have even gone to the pub in them!

  3. Many more congratulations! It sounds like you had a fantastic day. I think you guys “graduate” a bit differently to us. At my partners ceremonies, they did this walk with a highland band (er, I’m not sure if that’s what they’re called, they had bagpipes and drums etc, and wore kilts… Scottish band? :/ ). It was shown on a big screen inside were all the families sat. There is probably some symbol that it represents, but I’m not really sure!

    I like your blue robes! They look awesome! The only ones I’ve ever seen are black, it’s a nice change. and they look really good, especially with that lovely dress you’re wearing!

    • Holly

      Thank you!

      That sounds like an interesting graduation!

      I love the blue robes too. They just look so different to every other university.

  4. Congratulations once again, I think I said this already. I think because I never had a gap year for high school that when I graduate university in 2017, reality will really slap me in the face. Four months of summer is already odd enough for me, never mind completely being done. However I do plan to take a project management course and maybe a few basic business courses once I graduate, so Chris & I can build up our small business in a more informed way.

    I like the robe! Did you get to keep the hat? They do pictures the same day? That’s different then us, we do them before finals, which really makes little to no sense, it is kind of a jinx.

    • Holly

      Thank you! Project management is such a valuable skill to have. There’s a lot of well paid jobs out there.

      I wish I could have kept the hat but I just had to hire it for the day. I think you could buy the hat and gown but it wasn’t cheap.

      Yep, we had our photos done as soon as we were fitted in our gowns. They had a pretty good system going on.

  5. Elena

    Congratulations! How cool that the cermony was in the liverpool cathedral.
    I can see hoe the time went by so fast. I cannpt believe taht it had been one year since I moved out and started university.

  6. Congratulations again Holly! Like I said your parents should be very proud of you. 🙂 I love your dress, by the way – must be suiting the weather there. It’s cold here. 🙁 Haha.

    When I graduated, for both my degrees, I had a black robe and they had different coloured trim both times. I didn’t worry too much about what I wore underneath (in terms of colour) because you couldn’t really see it anyway, haha.

    I’m glad you thought uni was the best time for you! I don’t think it was for me, perhaps I found it too stressful to bear. I think the best part for me was getting out of it and being proud of myself. :p

    • Holly

      Thank you! We were very lucky with the weather. It went a bit cloudy in the evening when we left the cathedral but at least it didn’t rain.

      I found university really stressful, and there were a lot of low moments. But when I think about all the great memories I have they kind of overshadow the bad ones.

  7. Michelle

    Congrats on graduating! It certainly does feel like it could fly by and I believe you on that.

  8. Congratulations again, Holly! I’m so glad your graduation day and ceremony went well. I was surprised to read that your graduation took place at the cathedral, though; I assumed most graduation ceremony takes place in the university auditorium or something XD.

    Also are most programmes in UK unis three years? US programmes are generally four years, so I was just wondering.

    Anyway, I now wish you luck with your job hunt! I hope you land something good soon 🙂

    • Holly

      Thank you! I think it depends on the university, but most in the UK are held in fancy buildings. Plus we don’t actually have anywhere on campus we could hold a graduation ceremony!

      Yes, all bachelor degrees are three years here.

  9. Congrats, again 🙂 You look so pretty, I imagine it was a very special and emotional moment for you and for your parents too.

  10. Congratulations Holly! I used to live in the campus next to The Anglican, and it was always lovely at this time of year when everyone was graduating. Your dress is lovely! That was very nice of your friend Becky yo come and see you! It is a shock, that next day when you wake up and realise everything changes after that day but it’s the next step in your adventure!

    • Holly

      Thank you! I’d never been to the Anglican cathedral before my graduation, so it was a lovely surprise to discover how beautiful it is.

  11. Congratulations Holly, I remember talking to you at NorthwestBloggers meet up in Button Boutique, I hope you get to fulfil all your plans. Good luck.
    Lorraine x