Thursday, 3 September 2009

I Graduate today......

Today is my graduation. Three years of blood, sweat and tears (well actually none of them really but it just sounds dramatic) will be condensed into a 45 minute ceremony, where people clap intermittently, yawn (a lot), check their mobiles (discreetly) and I wear a gown that covers my dress.

If I had my way I wouldn't be attending my graduation ceremony. I don't like ceremonies. I think they're boring formalities people use to mark occasions that in the grand scheme of things aren't that big a deal. Yesterday I discovered that the scroll they give me will mean nothing and I'll get my real certificate in the post in six months time. It's a bit like when all those artists pick up their Grammy, thank God (even though their music is profane) and their AA sponsor,ramble for two more minutes, then when they go backstage and a runner takes the award off them because they have to give it to the next over-paid, under-talented singer. It's basically certificate fraud. I digress.

I'm only going to my graduation because.....

a) My uni friends (isn't it weird how we refer to them as uni friends, even though now they're our proper friends?) guilted/peer pressured me into considering it.

b) There are some decisions the offspring of ambitious African migrants living in the Western hemisphere will never have a say in influencing. These decisions can vary from their choice of career to choice of spouse. It's really dependent on how much their parents choose to assimilate. Things are changing, but they haven't changed that much. There is a valid reason 99% of Nigerian children living in the UK would never dream of telling their parents to shut up.

Sidebar: The reason is the high risk of premature death caused by a sudden and heavy blow to the head.

I was far too rebellious to ever heed to career advice (my mum's still disappointed I didn't become a doctor whilst my father is holding on to the dream that I'll one day run an investment bank) and my parents don't care who I marry as long as they're a trinitarian with a regular source of income. However there are some battles I value my sanity/life too much to fight. Attending my graduation was one of them.

c) Diversity tip of the month. In (nearly) every single (truly) African household in this country there is a picture hanging on the wall of someone at their graduation ceremony. I don't get why. I don't really care why. All I know is once I went to a house and there was a whole wall filled with graduation pictures (they had 6 unreasonably unattractive kids, who all had undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Did I mention the parents were PhD holders who also had pictures of them collecting all three of their degrees?)

I'm the first child, so by not turning up to my own graduation I would be essentially robbing my parents of authentic visual evidence that demonstrates to visitors that their kid is clearly smarter. My mother wasn't impressed with my suggestion of wearing one of the church choir robes and taking a picture with a rolled up tea stained A4 sheet of paper as a substitute.

d) Although I was furious to discover I would have to pay to attend my own graduation ceremony, it doesn't really make sense refusing to do something because it conflicts with your 'socialist values' when you're wearing clothes that the proleteriat in some deprived low income nation slaved to make.

e) I often do things that I later realise weren't really a good idea.

f) It was an excuse to buy a new outfit *

* The less said about this new 'outfit' the better, let's just hope the Guvna (love you dad!) doesn't notice that the new shoes I bought for graduation aren't being worn. And the new dress......well I already had it.

Anyway! As much as I'd like to write all day, I'm in a rush and as usual running late. I haven't been up this early in months. I don't function well in the morning and for some reason everything I need has gone missing.

In less than 4 hours I'll be UCL alumni and officially a graduate. I know it should be a 'well done me' moment but I'm just ready to embark on the next phase of my life, so the sooner it's over the better.

I guess today marks the closing of one chapter and the opening of another. Accompanied by 14 guests. Yes you read right. 14 people are coming with me to my graduation.

And you wonder why I rant for a living? Lol

Peace, Love and Robes

Edited to include actual graduation pic....just in case you were interested lol!


  1. Looool I feel your pain, oh how being the first child so much unnecessary weight falls on you.
    If I were my youngest sister I could get away with talks like "I don't wanna go uni" [though i'd expect a swift slap @ first] but I'm the oldest. Therefore EVERYTHING is expected.
    Who CAME up with this stupid rule in nigeria anyway ?

    Have fun @ your grad hun xoxo

  2. Trust me, it's not just a Nigerian thing, Sierra Leoneans are on this as well. There is a recession, I did not want to go to graduation this year as I will be graduating again next year,I could have saved money. But I didn't dare tell my parents.


    I know it's probably too late to tell you this but you'll need a can of Red Bull/Relentless, a pair of flat shoes and God to get you through this ceremony (If it's anything like mine).

  3. Christiana, congratualtions. I am sure Manny and your Mum are both extremely proud of you. Even though its been years since I have seen you I am also very proud of you as the daughter of my good friend. I also think you made a smart choice to attend. I would be less worried about your Pop's hand and more about the quiet disappointment that I supect he would exude that of course would leave you emotionally wounded :)