I'm a bit late posting about this, as my Graduation was on the 12th December, but better late than never I guess!
Finally, after starting my Nursing degree back in the UK in September 2004, I had finished! It has been a bit of a long journey, particularly as I had to do one year more than I hoped when I got to New Zealand, to satisfy the requirements about 'cultural safety' etc.
The best thing about my Graduation was that my family were all there! It is not very often these days that we are all together, as I only get to see my sister once or twice a year. Luckily she scheduled her flights to fly into New Zealand a couple of days before Grad, which I was very happy about! She had her Graduation earlier in the year back in the UK, which I could not attend as I was in the middle of my course, but I was very grateful she could come to mine.
The Graduation itself didn't start until the afternoon, so my parents arrived at around midday and we went out for lunch at Capers, one of my favourite cafes in Dunedin. It was pouring down with rain, so I opted to skip the Graduation Parade down George Street, in order to have more time for lunch.
Here we all are at Capers - dad is clearly already tired from the 4hr drive! Then they dropped me off at the Town Hall and I caught up with the end of the procession and headed into the Marquee.
The weather felt even worse waiting inside the marquee - the rain was battering it so much the frame started to move! I thought the whole thing was going to collapse on us! Luckily it didn't and we were filed up with our little numbered stickers on our sleeves and led into the Town Hall to bagpipe music.
The Town Hall quickly filled up and the Graduation began. It wasn't quite as long and boring as I had dreaded and I was quite excited to get up on the stage, although the moment seemed to go so quickly I can barely remember it now! My sister videoed me crossing the stage, but got rather excited and so the video jumps around a lot!
Our guest speaker was a female drain layer (!), and she was actually quite entertaining, at least for the first 15 minutes of her speech. Finally though, it was all over. I headed off to find my family and go to the Nursing Department's Graduation Function.
Woohoo, I finally had my degree!
There were actually two Nursing Functions we went to that evening - the first was a prize giving where we all received our transcripts and Otago Polytechnic badges.
The second was supposed to be a dinner function that I had opted to buy tickets for, mainly because I hadn't been organised enough to book a meal anywhere else in town. The food however turned out to be pretty average (in fact it was basically little appetisers and no real food at all). There were also barely any of my classmates or lecturers there, so it wasn't really that much fun. We were all still pretty hungry so I ended up taking my family to Eureka instead and getting yummy dessert! Should have just gone there in the first place!
By the end of the day I was pretty glad to get out of my bright blue robes, although we had an early start the next morning because I had booked a Graduation photo session so we could get some nice family photos. So I had to don my sexy outfit once again...
All in all, my Graduation day was pretty fun and relaxed. It was great to spend the day with my family as it happens so rarely these days.
Of course, the funny thing about graduating here is that although I now had my Bachelor of Nursing degree, I still had to wait another week for my Registration Exam results. So even though I had the degree I still could not work as a Nurse. Luckily I passed the exam! I had been slightly worried about it, as due to my concussion I had had to put in an application for extenuating circumstances. It was all good though, and now I can put the letters BN and RN after my name!