Before I begin, a disclaimer: THIS POST IS EXTREMELY PICTURE HEAVY DON’T CONTINUE IF YOU DON’T WANNA SEE MY FACE ABOUT 100 TIMES
On Thursday morning we all awoke bright and early because it was TIME TO GRADUATE! Us lucky English students had the first ceremony of the day at 9am, so we spent a good hour running around squealing, getting ready and struggling to pin ourselves into our hoods before the taxi arrived to take us up to campus. Despite the early hour, everyone’s spirits were VERY high and we managed to grab our parents before we had to go in.
I’d heard that graduation ceremonies themselves are boring, but I can honestly say that mine wasn’t. Exeter is SO lucky in that we have the goddess that is Floella Benjamin as our Chancellor, and she is easily the most inspiring, brilliant woman I have ever met or indeed come across. As well as a range of brilliant speeches and a general aura of fabulousness, Floella takes the time to hug and talk to every single student she graduates and has words of wisdom for everyone.
As ESNA students we were amongst the last to graduate, and by the time it was our turn I was SUPER nervous. Luckily I got to graduate right behind Sophie and Alex, which was basically perfect! My actual time crossing the stage is a bit of a blur, but Floella was every bit as perfect as I had hoped and I even managed not to trip up.
She told me that I “smile like a winner,” that I should spread peace and happiness everywhere I go, and to stay beautiful, and to promise her all of those things. The woman is INCREDIBLE.
After the ceremony itself it was time for our reception, where we drank champagne, ate pastries, bought Exeter stash (thanks daddy and grandad) and most importantly, tracked down everybody we knew for pictures.
We even summoned a few of our fave non-graduating boys up to campus to join in the fun, and went down to gorgeous Reed Hall for a serious photoshoot. Here’s just a taster…
The rest of the day was spent with a fab meal at Harry’s Grill Bar, an Exeter parent staple, and evening drinks at the Magdalen Chapter where my parents, along with Kate’s, were staying, and finally an emotional final night in Arena. Followed, naturally, by a two hour stint in one of Exeter’s most famous kebab shop, Raj’s, where we discussed French royalty. As you do.
Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect graduation day. Every moment was perfect and it is a day I will never, ever forget!