Today was finally my big day! It was to kick off with a breakfast in this giant marquee at uni for graduands and their families at 8am, but as usual our family set off from home late (like 7.50am late!) and were stuck in traffic! We didn't get to uni till just before 9am when the procession was about to start. We parked somewhere up Queen Street, so we had to walk all the way to uni. I only just made it in time!
We had to line up together with people graduating with the same degree. When I first saw the others from pharmacy, I noticed they all had different hood colours to mine since I hired mine from this Chinese place instead of the official place! Fortunately there were a few others who had done so too so I wasn't the only one!
As the procession started, we walked down the road onto Queen Street, with onlookers lining up the footpaths taking photos and cheering us on.
I even bumped into my old high school principal Mr Edmeades along the way!
It was amazing just how many people were walking down Queen Street. I don't think I've ever seen that many!
When we finally got to Aotea Centre, all of us taking part in the ceremony had to go to this back room where we had to line up according to the seat number we had. I discovered it was based on what sort of honours you got, with those with First Class Honours lining up near the front! I was around the middle, since I was graduating with Second Class Honours.
After a while of everyone sorting themselves out, we finally filed into the theatre, with the audience standing watching us as we came in.
The ceremony started off with all of us singing...or attempting to sing the official graduation song. It was all in Latin and no one really knew the tune either so it was a bit of a fail. The organ playing the music made it extra hard to determine the tune as well!
The medicine students then the nursing students going up on stage one by one. As their name got called out, they would cross the stage, pretend to be capped and then walk off and receive their degree off-stage.
It was a loooong time before it was pharmacy's turn! I was sitting next to Natalie, my best friend in pharmacy, and she was busting to go to the toilet, so it was lucky there was a music performance by a music student before we were set to go on stage! She made it back on stage just in time!
It was finally my time to go up on stage to get capped. I was seriously hoping I wouldn't screw up buy tripping over, shaking hands wrongly or not putting my cap on the right way!
Fortunately as you can see it went without a hitch!
After me there were still quite a lot of people to get through, along with all the masters and doctorate students needing to be capped too.
When they finally had their moment on stage, we all sang God Defend New Zealand before the staff and special guests left the stage, and we all followed afterwards.
I was quite hungry afterwards, but I had already started receiving text messages from friends saying they were already at Albert Park waiting to take photos with me! My mum and Aonghas went to Burger King to buy some food while my dad, Hamish and I went back to the car to drop some things off.
We then met up at Albert Park where I also caught up with some friends to take some photos.
It was also a really good chance to catch up with some old friends. I even caught up with Mandy, a really old primary school friend who I hadn't seen since, well, primary school! She had recently moved back to Macau but came back to New Zealand for a visit and I was lucky enough to catch up with her while she was still here! I'm so grateful for that, as I was always wanting to catch up with her once again after all this time! To be honest I wasn't exactly too sure if it was her or not at first!
I also managed to catch up with many of my old pharmacy friends! It was cool seeing all their graduation toys too! I had borrowed my friend Nadine's graduation bear as her's had the proper pharmacy hood while mine wouldn't since they had to order them in. I also had my graduation pig with me too!
Amazingly I had been at Albert Park for over five hours and it was almost 4pm, and so I thought it'd be the right time to go visit my workmates at my work (Campus Pharmacy). Apparently it had been a busy day today, so maybe it was a good thing I wasn't working! I could see they had heaps of boxes to unpack in the dispensary! We took a few photos together and I introduced them to my family before Aonghas had to take off for one lecture.
Our church friend Winston had just finished his research work for the day, so we met up with him at Albert Park to take some photos around the place as Winston knows how to take the good shots!
We had to be at the photography studio to take photos and to return my gown by 5.30 and we were already running late, so I rang them up to let them know we'd be late (twice in one day!). We parted ways with Winston and got to the studio where we had to wait our turn before having our photos taken.
We took quite a few photos, spending almost half an hour there! We tried different poses and different combinations, with me on my own, with my brothers, with my parents and with everyone altogether.
We'll have to revisit them in a week's time to view the photos and choose which ones we want developed.
To end the evening, we went to Wing Wah Restaurant in Avondale, where we were pretty much the only people there. That's probably why we got good service with one of the ladies hovering around our table waiting to refill our teapots and rice pots!
We got home by 9pm since we all had work and uni the next day. There was one more surprise left for me later that night, when one of my best friends Chen came over with a bouquet of flowers and a graduation teddy for me! That was a really huge surprise as I wasn't expecting that! We had a bit of a catch-up before he had to go as he's got to be at Middlemore Hospital early next morning.
And that officially marks the end of my time at uni!