Photos of graduation and convocation in Facebook wall trigger me to start writing about my convocation 2 years ago.
Convocation was one of the milestones in my life. I anticipated THE DAY so much – thinking of what shoes I should wear, what shirt I should wear, deliberating on to either wear a knee-length skirt or black slack, et cetera.
The eve of the convocation day, Satkuru even reminded me to double check all the stuffs I supposed to bring/need for the convocation but I told him I’ve placed them in my bag. He even asked me to double read the convocation letters from university, just in case I missed out any. Like usual, I told him not to worry as I’ve read them (but actually I just skimmed thru, rofl). He also asked me if I’ve wore the robe, just to get the hang of it – but I told him I’ve tried, so should be okay.
Obviously I got a nice music for being so cool-headed. He told me, “You only get to convo once in your lifetime. Or maybe another if you take master. But still, treasure it. Make sure you get everything right.”
I replied ok.
So, my parents and I flew to KL on the morning of THE DAY and reach KL at 9 in the morning. We were picked up by my sister where we were driven to Seri Kembangan for a brunch. After brunch, we immediately went to University of Malaya.
But the journey took slightly longer because my sister’s bf took the wrong turning. I was so anxious, but told myself to calm down and be patience.
Finally, we reach at about 11am. I quickly wore my robe and the mortar and took few photos outside the hall, with dad as my photographer of course. My mum was wondering why did my shawl always dropped sideway while other ppl’s was in placed and tidy. I told mum I didn’t know why, maybe my size is bigger – I told her. Haha!
Gosh, I shouldn’t cut my hair that length. Doesn’t look nice on me. And that shoes! Why I chose to wear that? T_______T
It was then time to get to the Dewan Peperiksaan to be checked on our attendance before entering.
The first person I saw was Lillian! She asked me why my shawl so untidy. I told her I have no idea as I already adjusted. Then she asked me if I’ve pinned my shawl correctly.
I asked her, “What pin?”
It drawn on me that the shawl supposed to be PINNED! *sweat case* No wonder mine kept dropping!
The second question Lillian asked me was if I’ve bring my matrix card and pink paper slip along as I need to pass the slip to the people at the side of the stage for them to call my name.
I looked at her in horror. I told her that slip was in my car!
Panicking, I quickly called up my sister and asked her to bring me that paper slip. But she told me she had left UM to get my convocation flower!
The scene of not able to graduate suddenly flashed in my mind.
I almost had a heart attack moment. I told her to return to UM now as I need that pink paper slip to graduate. She said ok, and told me she’ll reach as soon as possible.
I could only pray.
As for my untidy shawl, I immediately asked around if anyone had extra pins after ending the phone call. Luckily someone brought a lot. Phew. Lillian then quickly helped me to pin my shawl. Until now, I’m thankful for knowing her, for being my close friend. If it wasn’t for her, I would have gone up the stage with dropping shawl. Eh wait, maybe couldn’t have graduated that year because of the pink paper slip. –”
After pinning my shawl, the person in charge of taking our attendance then asked us to queue in lines according to our number. Then I looked around, I saw my friends. I was so happy to see them as I didn’t see them in ages. At the same time, I couldn’t relax myself and enjoy the moment as I was still worried if my sister could make it in time as she told me the jam in UM was terrible.
That time, I remembered the advice that Satkuru gave me the night before. I regretted not checking it again. Boy, I hate admitting that he’s right. Grr.
While waiting, I looked at the people around me. Most of them were different. They styled their hair, they put makeup so that they looked prettier that day. At that time, I was thinking to myself – why did I put foundation and lip gloss only? Looking back at my graduation photos, I looked so pale without any colour on my face. Darn, I wish I could turn back the time. Grr.
Also, I was thinking why didn’t I bring in my camera? I saw people brought in camera and they took photos in the waiting hall. I ‘kicked’ myself for being so obedient (as stated in the letter). Grr.
Then it was time to move to Dewan Tunku Cansellor for the convocation ceremony. My sister suddenly called. She said she’s arrived. I thanked God for that. I asked her to stand on the left side at the end of the stairs, as I’ll be coming down the stairs. She acknowledged.
When I went down the stairs, I was so happy to see her face. I almost hugged her, but obviously I didn’t as we need to cross the road quickly. She passed me the slip and I said, Thank You. So glad for having a sister by my side too. Else, I couldn’t have graduated.
After that I started to feel calmer. We queued at the side of the dewan awhile, before entering. It’s been awhile since I entered the dewan. I was glad to be back, in fact I was proud to be undergraduate of University Malaya.
I proudly sang the University Malaya song as it might be the last time I sang it. After few speeches, names were being called up and friends walked up the stage to receive scroll. Applause after applause were heard. I too clapped and cheered for my friends.
The ceremony was so formal, full of protocol but felt very glorious. As my surname is Tan, so I had to wait quite some time before being called up.
Finally, it was time for our row to stand up and quietly stand at the side. One by one friends in front of me were called. Soon, I found myself to be standing at the bottom of the stage, just two people shy from receiving the scroll.
My heart began to pound quickly. I passed the pink paper slip and my matrix card to the person-in-charge. He then instructed me to stand at the two ‘X’ marks on the floor, first at the end of the stage and second at the middle of the stage, in front of the pro-chancellor. He also reminded me to say thank and bow after receiving the scroll.
I nodded. At the back of my mind, I prayed that I didn’t trip, else it would be disastrous!
The girl in front of me was called. She then walked to receive her scroll while I went up the stairs and stood on the first X. I took a glimpse of the audience, then focused at the girl in front of me.
The moment I’ve been waiting for came. I heard my name was announced over the speaker and I assumed the front of my matrix card was shown on the big projector screen, so automatically I walked towards the pro-chancellor with a BIG grin on my face. I heard loud applause coming from the ground. My heart beat so fast that I think could have reach 150-160 bpm, lol!
I went to the pro-chancellor, extended both hands out while she placed a scroll on my palms. I said Terima Kasih YABerbahagia and bowed before walking to the other end of the stage.
If given a choice, I would have jumped up in joy and screamed YES! But then since it was full of formality and such act wouldn’t be condoned, I just walked with my head held high.
Even up to now, I could feel the feeling that I had in the dewan two years ago. It was really achievement of self-satisfaction, that I would like to feel it again. Maybe it’s time to go for Master. Haha!
After everyone received their scrolls, the MC announced the end leaving of the pro-chancellors, vice-chancellors, deans and professors. We rised and watched them leave. Then our MC congratulated us on our graduation and all of us cheered loudly!
Most went out of the hall almost immediately, leaving few in hall. The few including me of course. I went to take photo with Lillian, but realising that we have no camera! Luckily my parents were still in the hall and dad helped to take photo of us.
The lights in the hall then went off, ‘forced’ us to leave the hall. I went out and my goodness, it was chaotic! The amount of people there, best be described by the Chinese proverb – human sea, human mountain.
Among the human flood, I saw my bee with a bouquet of pink roses in his arm. I was so happy to see him, almost threw a hug to him but didn’t (in fear of PDA!). He shyly passed me the bouquet and wished me Congrats. Shy cow, he is!
He was my unofficially appointed photographer, so he had to follow me wherever I went. Wahaha! Poor daddy and mummy had to tag along as I went here and there taking photos with my friends. Luckily sister and Jason were there to keep them company. Heehee.
I took photos with my coursemates who graduated the same time as me.
Most of my coursemates who had graduated the year earlier purposely came back to take photos with us.
If you’re wondering why some graduated first and I graduated later, that’s because I didn’t plan my subject well in my first year of study, therefore purposely extended another semester to finish my course in more relaxing manner. Else I would have to take 5-6 subjects (and sometimes 7) per semester to graduate in 3 years time.
Then the sky turned dark and began to drizzle. We left for KL Sentral just before the rain poured down heavily. At KL Sentral, we had a quick dinner at one of the cafe there as we were hungry. We only had brunch at 10 in the morning and nothing after that.
After dinner, we sent parents off at the KLIA Express terminal. They took KLIA Express LRT to KLIA for night flight back to Penang via MAS while I stayed a night in KL before leaving home the next day.
My sister and Jason went back to Seri Kembangan of course, while Satkuru and I headed to Midvalley for a gathering with the KL gang.