Cardiff is the best place to graduate

No ‘Diffs, no buts


Few things have as much emotional resonance as graduating. The bubble of student life bursts with a mixture of relief, pride and agonising sorrow.

The end of an era. No doubt it is a great victory and honour to graduate, but it is somewhat pyrrhic all the same.

It is fitting then, to have it take place in the peculiar and vibrant city of Cardiff. In fact, being part of the crowd dominating the Welsh capital for an entire week is a pretty special feeling.

Bias aside, anyone’s home for three years is special. Cardiff boasts the perfect setup for graduation and to be anywhere else when receiving the world’s most expensive piece of paper is just not as good.

The obligatory hat throw is way important than some fancy scroll.

The obligatory hat throw is way important than some fancy scroll.

The ceremony itself is rather unique, given the inordinate amount of airtime given to the Welsh language. All graduation proclamations are given in it.

For all we know the Vice-Chancellor has condemned us all to hell via a centuries old gypsy curse. While there are plenty of dissenting Cardiff students when it comes to all things Cymru, hearing the coughing cacophony of hacking and hissing one last time is fitting. Who knows, maybe you’ll miss it?

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Well lucky to get Peter Kay to open the ceremony.

The ever repeated shaking of the Vice-Chancellor’s hand and standing for an ovation from the wonderfully atmospheric St. David’s Hall will remain forever. This is particularly the case for the girl in everyone’s ceremony, who graduated alone from her course and got one all to herself. She resisted any urges to milk the moment, but that goes out the window when we all begin the photo shoots outside City Hall.

Cardiff is blessed with plenty of fitties with firsts.

Cardiff is blessed with many fitties with firsts.

Rarely will the squad look so on point as it does at graduation, posing on green lawns by picturesque fountains that make up Cardiff’s city centre. In being so nice it does get busy, and avoiding photobombing someone else’s precious memories is basically impossible.

With the whole family, all your friends, and some stereotype-bashing decent weather, Cardiff sets the standard for graduation. All good things come to an end and whether you’re top marks totty or scraping a third, the feeling of dread unavoidably arrives with goodbyes.

The sun sets over city hall and uni life *sobs*

The sun sets over City Hall and uni life *sobs*

You’ll see off those with their whole life in perfect order and the happy-go-lucky many, but by now you’re so used to reeling off the rehearsed ‘what next’ lines they have lost all meaning.

In graduating at Cardiff you do not only leave one of the most highly regarded academic institutions in the world. You also get to be the centre of attention in one of the UK’s best cities, in all its glory, for one last time.