An end of an era – graduation

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American student Corrine reflects on her time at Edinburgh Napier as she takes her first step into the graduate world.

The beginning of a new chapter

I know this is a cliché, but I’ll say it anyway. Graduation blindsided me. It felt like my university years ended a lot quicker than I was mentally prepared for. The date on the calendar marked more than just the day of the ceremony. June 28th was the day that my university years were over. I was no longer a student. I was unable to take advantage of student discounts, council tax exemption, and get away with telling people that I was unemployed. However, those few disappointments were surpassed by satisfaction.

Graduation day

"I chose Edinburgh Napier for the amount of practical training and work experience that is offered."

I chose Edinburgh Napier for the amount of practical training and work experience that is offered. Now, that I had a degree from Edinburgh Napier I was more confident about my future. I was ecstatic to be finished with undergraduate life. Weary, but ecstatic. My family came over from Philadelphia to cheer me on from the crowd. All in all, it was such a nice day, but I had trouble dealing with my mixed emotions.

A feeling of mixed emotions

On the one hand, I was happy to move forward with my life. On the other, I was sad that an era was ending. I got so used to showing up to class and seeing the same faces year after year. The campus was familiar to me. So were the coffee shops outside the screen academy where I’d get coffee, morning, noon, and night so I could stay awake to see my films through to the final cut.

Final goodbyes

I know my other classmates felt the same. We couldn’t help but smile after the ceremony as we took pictures outside the Usher Hall together. For some of us, we were well aware that that picture might be the last one we have together for a while. Some of us were going to Asia to travel while others had to leave the UK to go back home for work. I was a part of the latter. We said goodbye to each other and wished each other good luck.

A future filled with tartan

My final ‘thank you’ to Scotland and Edinburgh Napier was me wearing a full tartan dress for graduation. I still can’t believe that I have a degree from a Scottish university. Five years ago, when I started my university career, I planned to get a degree from a uni in Philly. I never expected to move abroad for any reason and I especially never expected to be saying ‘uni’. But, here I am, a recent graduate with no concrete plan for the future other than to wear my tartan dress at every occasion possible from now on.

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